The title of this week’s article comes from a 1970 song by the late Janis Joplin. The song is a parody prayer in which the singer asks God to give her a luxury car. Well, we know she ain’t going to get that car, at least not from the Lord. The reason being, it is a prayer of selfishness and greed. The Bible says it best in James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” To be self-centered and consumed with worldly desire is sinful, thus the Psalmist said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” (Psalm 66:18) To pray that the Lord bless us with a luxury home, expensive car, or a fat bank account is asking for trouble. The sin of materialism, especially for those of us who live in such a rich country, can quickly lead the Christian away from God and down the path of spiritual destruction. (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-16)
So how should the Christian handle their wants and desires for all of the “good things” in life? The answer may well be that we first redefine for ourselves what the “good things” in life really are.
First, we must transform our thinking. (Romans 12:1-2)
We can pray that God will help us develop self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Practice giving to God first as we’ve been blessed. (2 Corinthians 9:6-9)
Realize that contentment with godliness is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)
Grasp the fact that you’ll carry nothing to the grave. (Job 1:22)
Realize that Jesus Himself was poor and homeless. (Matthew 8:20)
Learn that what we do for others, not ourselves will weigh heavily in the great judgement ( Matthew 25:31-46).
~Via Maud church of Christ