Saying "No" to Materialism

I remember seeing an advertisement from a large bank that encouraged people to borrow money, asking the question: "What do you need to make you happy?" How foolish, I thought, to believe that a new car, or a boat, or even a house can hold the keys to lasting bliss.

This is Dr. James Dobson with Focus on the Family.

Materialism is a disease that infects the human family -- and it's not a problem only in affluent cultures. Author and financial counselor, Ron Blue, tells the story of visiting a small, rural village in Africa. Ron asked a native there what was the biggest problem facing his village. The man said, "materialism." Ron was taken aback. He expected it to be the lack of food or medical attention, or perhaps problems with neighboring villages. But materialism? These villagers didn't have televisions or cars or satellite dishes -- the sorts of things we associate with "the good life." But this villager told Ron, "If a man has a mud hut, he wants one made out of cow manure. If he has a cow manure hut, he wants a stone hut. If he has a thatched roof, he wants a tin roof. If he has one acre, he wants two. Materialism is a disease of the heart," he said. "It has nothing to do with where you live."

That's probably the simplest and best explanation of materialism I've heard. And it might hit pretty close to where you live. Take a good hard look at the loved ones in your life -- and then tell me where your real priorities are.

This is Dr. James Dobson for Focus on the Family.

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