One of the principal dangers we all face is placing too much value on making money and accumulating material possessions. It is such a great danger because this desire has a way of crowding out the best and finest things of life.
For one thing, it can crowd out our family. I have seen more than one person neglect their family while trying to provide more and more things for them.
Dr. Kenneth Chafin tells how he disappointed his five-year-old daughter by telling her that he could not stay home because he had to go speak to a group at the church on “What a Good Father Ought to Be.” He brought her with him to the event and during the dinner prior to his speech she would whisper in his ear as ideas would come to her. Here is the list of her ideas, as he wrote them down:
1. Catch a fish.
2. Build a fire.
3. Fly a kite.
4. Catch a butterfly.
5. Plant a flower.
6. Get a kitty cat out of the mud.
In his talk, Dr. Chafin made the point that the things she wanted did not require money—but they did require him. The most important thing we can give our children is ourselves. They want and need that above all else.
Second, it can crowd out the virtues of life. The Christian has great respect for ambition, drive, intelligence, and success but keeps them in proper perspective. He or she knows that they are of less importance than humility, sympathy, contentment, and loyalty. The generation that forgets this will pay the consequences. In the pursuit of wealth a person can become calloused, greedy, pushy, covetous, ruthless, and dishonest. The finest things die off and the worst replace them.
Finally, it can crowd out God. Many a person has become so busy with work that he no longer has time for prayer, worship, and God. Remember this, material things are like a thyroid gland—necessary for the proper functioning of your body, but dangerous if they become overactive. Keep your possessions in a place of secondary importance.