Monday, June 9, 2014

Material Things: Blessings or Not?

I just read an article, or more precisely glanced through an article, that was talking about how we should stop saying that God has "blessed" us with material things. It argued that Christians should not consider those things blessings, because doing so reduces God to a wish-granting genie of some sort.

I think that's a bunch of hullabaloo.

This comes out of years of learning what it means to be grateful for what I have. I am not necessarily rich in American terms, but I certainly have plenty of material things to be thankful for, things that I definitely don't deserve. Things that I'm not owed based on anything special about who I am. And I know that the only reason I have these material things is because God has allowed me to have them.

Some things I have worked for and earned, but I still respect the fact that any talents, any opportunities, any successes or victories have happened or exist solely by the grace of God. I may have had to work to make these things happen, but the tree don't grow if God doesn't make it.

What was the point the article was trying to make? People's material wealth and possessions aren't blessings. (I'm seriously struggling to make a sensible explanation of what this article was trying say.)

How can you say that material things aren't blessings from God? If God chooses to bless His children with material things, why shouldn't He? He made EVERYTHING. He owns EVERYTHING. Nobody has more material possessions than God. And in heaven there will be greater material blessings than this world could ever fathom.

I understand that there certainly are more kinds of blessings than material ones, many of which are much more valuable than wealth. But to tell God that any monetary possessions aren't blessings is downright arrogant.

My parents have given me many things over my lifetime, and I definitely have not deserved such favor. They give me these things because they love me and because they can, and because I seek to respect them and be the best son I can be.

Likewise, the only reason God gives us material blessings is because He loves us. As a matter of fact, the only reason He has given us anything is because He loves us. We don't deserve any of it. That's what makes all these things blessings. God has allowed us to have these things because He loves us, and unless He has a plan to use these things to bring about something else in His will, that reason is sufficient enough for why He blesses.

But the heart of the article is that our material blessings don't dictate how special or worthy we are. God chooses to bless some with money and things, and not others. There are many types of blessings. The most important is the gift of grace that saves us. Whether we have accepted that grace is what defines our worth. Salvation is the only blessing that provides eternity.

However, I will continue to thank God for the blessings of material things. I pray that I can turn those blessings around to give the glory back to Him who is the only one worthy of anything in the first place.

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