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M. Stephen Lett: Beware of the Power of Materialism (Matt. 6:11)


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I liked the illustration about staying in a hotel room as a "temporary resident" and we'd never think of changing the wallpaper, the carpet or buying new furniture.  

 

On the contrary, as temporary residents of this old system, we're soon going to be 'checking out' of it and 'checking in' to the new world. 

 

(Nothing against power drills LOL.  I've owned and worn out a few, some had lights!)


Edited by Watching and Waiting

"Where the scriptures and and the slave are silent, I do not speak." :bible2:

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Honestly it is yet to be clear to me what we look at as materialism;

Is it having material things or is it being overly worried about having material things, because those two are not the same.

A lot of JW's here in Nigeria have very nice houses and drive very nice cars,especially those in big cities like Lagos,Portharcourt and Abuja,these brothers have very good jobs and receive very good salaries.

during one convention our CO said it is not those having material things that should be seem as being materialistic but those who even though can't afford material things but go to extremes to get them.in effect the poor are more susceptible to being materialist than wealthy brothers,he gave local examples to buttress that fact.

 

This topic usually confuse me because when it is discussed, it makes leaving a comfortable life or desiring a comfortable life to look like a bad thing and those who are able to afford a good life to look like sinners or unserious brothers.

 

 

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Okay my concern is,I desire a good and comfortable life for my family,I don't want us to live indigently,and I am already working hard to improve my situation and help my family live well.I don't want to be lazy and allow my family to suffer because of trying to live simple,It will hurt me to watch my children suffer.

I believe that my family can enjoy a good life now and still serve Jehovah faithfully and happily.

I wouldn't say we are poor now,we have a good place to stay and we are eat well,but I still have to improve our standard of living.

 

this topic on materialism usually make me feel guilty for having this concern for my family and sometimes I feel it is encouraging laziness instead of hardwork,

I think that it is possible to balance hardwork and spirituality.

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materialism is greed for more materials  than needed and pursuing it at any cost.. the showy display of ths rich makes the poor ones to aspire to be rich and gain comfortable life. if materials can jive real happiness ehy would satan give away all the riches given to him for an act of worship. je knows all the riches in the world dont buy you true happiness😁

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37 minutes ago, Ishaya said:

Okay my concern is,I desire a good and comfortable life for my family,I don't want us to live indigently,and I am already working hard to improve my situation and help my family live well.I don't want to be lazy and allow my family to suffer because of trying to live simple,It will hurt me to watch my children suffer.

I believe that my family can enjoy a good life now and still serve Jehovah faithfully and happily.

I wouldn't say we are poor now,we have a good place to stay and we are eat well,but I still have to improve our standard of living.

 

this topic on materialism usually make me feel guilty for having this concern for my family and sometimes I feel it is encouraging laziness instead of hardwork,

I think that it is possible to balance hardwork and spirituality.

true,

materialism means desire stuff, not possess..

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I think many confuse having material things with no suffering.

People who have an abundance of material things still suffer, (in a way maybe even more!) because for them it's also the last days

The Bible encourages us to be content what we have. Someone can't serve two masters. So you either focus on Jehovah and do your best to be content with the things you can afford in your situation while doing the best you can for God,
Or your focus shifts to material things, which automatically means you're taking time and energy off of your spiritual life.

So, materialism is not necessary about the things you can afford, it's more about the things you're willing to sacrifice to afford or maintain a certain lifestyle.

EDIT: It doesn't mean ofc. that when someone chances some things in his or her schudule to use their time more efficiently, and as a result makes some more that he or she is materialistic. It's all about the main focus. "Why am I doing this"?

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33 minutes ago, Sepie93 said:

I think many confuse having material things with no suffering.


 

 

It is true that the rich suffer too,in fact there are not many people that don't know that, but the suffering of the rich cannot be compared with what the poor experience on a daily basis.

Personally im not desiring so much wealth,I'm not in competition with anyone.I just wish t be able to provide for my family things that make life comfortable,we need to have a good car to go for meetings and Assemblies,I need to be able to afford good schools for my children instead of sending them to public schools where a lot of social vices and misdemeanor is seen,I have to be able to live with my children in a safe neighborhood and be able to always provide good food and take care of hospital bills when they're sick.all this things can't be possible if you don't have a good salary.

There used to be a brother in my congregation who took his family to live in a very unsafe house in the bush simply because he could not afford to rent even a low cost apartment,he told me terrifying stories of how they have been attacked severally at night and how they barely feed well with his two children,this was a serious concern to us in the congregation.

Some brothers with families can't even afford a bus fare to Assemblies  which shift the burden on the very few brothers who have money.

I really think more needs to be done to encourage brothers to be hard working to be able to provide adequately the needs of their families instead of hoping to shift the burden on other brothers who they think have money.

 

 

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Just now, Ishaya said:

 

É verdade que os ricos também sofrem, aliás não há muitos que não saibam disso, mas o sofrimento dos ricos não se compara com o que os pobres vivem no dia-a-dia.

Pessoalmente não estou desejando tanta riqueza, não estou competindo com ninguém. Só desejo poder prover para minha família coisas que tornem a vida confortável, precisamos ter um bom carro para ir às reuniões e Assembleias, preciso para poder pagar boas escolas para meus filhos em vez de mandá-los para escolas públicas onde muitos vícios sociais e contravenções são vistos, tenho que poder viver com meus filhos em um bairro seguro e poder sempre fornecer boa comida e cuide das contas do hospital quando estiverem doentes. tudo isso não pode ser possível se você não tiver um bom salário.

Costumava haver um irmão em minha congregação que levava sua família para morar em uma casa muito insegura no mato, simplesmente porque ele não tinha dinheiro para alugar nem mesmo um apartamento barato, ele me contou histórias terríveis de como eles foram atacados várias vezes em noite e como eles mal se alimentam bem com seus dois filhos, isso era uma grande preocupação para nós na congregação.

Alguns irmãos com famílias não podem nem pagar uma passagem de ônibus para as Assembléias, que transferem o fardo para os poucos irmãos que têm dinheiro.

Eu realmente acho que mais precisa ser feito para encorajar os irmãos a trabalhar arduamente para serem capazes de prover adequadamente as necessidades de suas famílias, em vez de esperar transferir o fardo para outros irmãos que eles acham que têm dinheiro.

 

 

Now it's time to work for Jehovah, many brothers live with little and are happy, if Jehovah asks us to simplify life, why complicate it? After all, aren't we on the verge of the great tribulation? The bible is clear if we have what to eat and what to wear, we should be happy!

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Sometimes I feel so much fear and worry what will happen when all of us end up poor and no one is able to help the other financially.I fear how we can be able to even support the organization financially.

we cannot pretend that Jehovah's organization needs alot of money and we are expected to be the main financial donors.but how can we donate sufficiently when we barely have enough money to feed and pay bills.

 

On several occasions the talk on local need has been focused on the need to make donations because donation boxes are always empty in my congregation,and this is because brothers don't have money not because they don't want to give.

we don't have light and always buy fuel to power generator for meetings,only very few brothers have been bringing money for this and its not be easy on them.

In fact there has been times when we were almost forced to make oaths or pledges on the amount of money to give for the CO's visit but that didn't seem right and had to be stopped.

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18 minutes ago, Ishaya said:

There used to be a brother in my congregation who took his family to live in a very unsafe house in the bush simply because he could not afford to rent even a low cost apartment,he told me terrifying stories of how they have been attacked severally at night and how they barely feed well with his two children,this was a serious concern to us in the congregation.

Some brothers with families can't even afford a bus fare to Assemblies  which shift the burden on the very few brothers who have money.

Our King, Jesus Christ is well aware of this, in fact he himself said: For you always have the poor with you, John 12:8 (no doubt this pains his heart)

Some of the problems mankind faces in this system is simply unsolvable, therefore greater our trust and reliance on our Father needs to be.  

Man was created as an intelligent creature with the desire to explore and understand :)

 

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