The Bible says a lot about material possessions. God’s Word discusses how we should view and use our belongings from the Old Testament through the New Testament. God wants us to wisely manage the resources He has bestowed upon us and not become unduly dependent on or enslaved by worldly possessions.
To help you understand how God feels about your possessions and discover how to effectively handle your resources in line with His plan, we’ll look at some of the most significant Bible scriptures concerning them in this article.
Bible Verses About Material Things
1. Matthew 6:19–21: “Don’t store up riches for yourself on earth, where moths and vermin ruin and where thieves break in and steal.” Store up your riches in heaven, where thieves cannot enter and steal and moths and other pests cannot destroy. Because your treasure will follow you wherever you go. This verse encourages us to put more of our emphasis on spiritual things than worldly things since the rewards of a life dedicated to God are eternal and the former are transient.
2. Ecclesiastes 5:10: “Whoever loves riches is never happy with their salary; whoever loves money never has enough.” This passage serves as a reminder that if our minds are bent on material things rather than God’s kingdom, no amount of accumulation or possession can ever be enough.
3. 1 Timothy 6:7-8: If we have food and a roof over our heads, we will be content. “Since we did not create anything in the world, we are unable to take anything from it either.” Because none of our worldly assets can follow us when we pass away, these lines serve as a reminder that we should seek satisfaction with the little resources God has given us instead of pursuing additional material items that, in any case, won’t last forever.
4. Proverbs 23:4-5: “Don’t work yourself to death to acquire wealth; know to exercise moderation.” “Riches may be lost in the blink of an eye.” These verses caution against becoming overly preoccupied with accumulating wealth because doing so can take one away from true happiness, which comes from following God’s plan rather than pursuing worldly desires like money or power, which, at best, only provide momentary satisfaction before quickly vanishing again once attained.
5. Matthew 19:24: “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” This passage serves as a reminder that owning a lot of worldly belongings does not ensure admittance into Heaven; rather, only those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ, regardless of their financial situation on Earth, can enter His Kingdom.
6. Luke 12:15: “Then he warned them, “Take care and avoid covetousness, for a man’s life does not consist in the wealth of things which he owns.” Here, Jesus cautions his followers against becoming greedy, because this mentality prevents people from discovering true joy in Him alone. Instead, he urges them to seek fulfillment in Him first before turning to any other form of enjoyment or satisfaction that can be found among the world’s finite options.
7. Proverbs 11:28: “He who trusts in his wealth shall fall, but the virtuous shall spring up like a branch.” This passage emphasizes how important it is to place our reliance on God rather than on our worldly goods, which may be taken away at any time. Living according to God’s plan brings genuine satisfaction rather than acquiring riches or power on Earth.
8. Philippians 4:11–13: “Not that I talk of wanting, but I have learned in my joy, whatever situation I may be in, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” These passages serve as a reminder that, regardless of the material possessions we have gathered throughout this lifetime or have not, we may find genuine peace and happiness even in the face of hardship if we accept Jesus into our hearts and trust Him to do so.
9. Psalm 62:10: “Trust not in injustice, nor become foolish in your conceptions.” The Lord should be trusted for genuine stability rather than trying to make up for a lack of faith with worldly wealth, which will eventually leave nonetheless, according to this verse’s warning against placing excessive confidence in the illusory security that comes from earthly things.
10. Colossians 3:2: “Set your heart on things above, not on things on earth.” This passage exhorts us to set our gaze on God’s kingdom rather than get sidetracked by the transient joys of this life; it is preferable to seek everlasting rewards via Christ than to pursue temporary fulfillment through material wealth that, once attained, would quickly vanish.
How can we use our material possessions to glorify God?
There are several ways in which we might exalt God by using our material assets. First, we may make use of them to help others and show our neighbors that we care. We can give away money to people who need it more than we do or donate things that we no longer need. This is a great method to show how selfless Christ’s love is and how He gave everything up for us.
Second, we may employ our belongings as evangelism and outreach instruments. We can open our homes to visitors or provide materials like books, films, or music that spread the gospel to others. We can preach God’s Word widely and demonstrate hospitality to others around us by making good use of what God has given us.
Thirdly, we should be aware of how much time and effort we devote to accumulating material possessions as opposed to concentrating on spiritual development via Bible study and prayer. To keep God at the center of all aspects of life and not let earthly things take over, these things must come before shopping trips or other activities that help people get rich or show off their status.
Finally, it is necessary to think about whether anything would bring glory back to the Lord when purchasing purchases using money acquired through work done diligently for the Lord (Colossians 3:23). (1 Corinthians 10:31). By doing this, every purchase becomes a chance to glorify God through prudent stewardship as opposed to just gratifying personal cravings without considering how it may affect one’s relationship with God.
The Benefits of Living a Life Free from Attachment to Material Things
There are several advantages to living without material attachments. It’s critical to understand that genuine pleasure and fulfillment come from connections with other people and with ourselves, not from material things. We make room in our lives for more important experiences when we let go of our ties to material possessions.
The increased independence is one advantage of living without regard to worldly possessions. We no longer feel burdened by the weight of owning too many things or constrained by our possessions. This increased freedom enables us to concentrate on what is genuinely important, such as spending time with loved ones, pursuing interests, working meaningfully, or simply taking some time for self-care.
Improving mental health is another benefit of living without commitment to worldly possessions. According to studies, people who have less stuff than those who amass a lot of stuff over time tend to be less stressed and anxious. By letting go of these attachments, we can lessen negative emotions like envy or jealousy toward people who may have more than we do; instead, we should concentrate on cultivating gratitude for everything we do have in life, whether it be material possessions like love and friendship or intangible ones like love.
Finally, letting go of our attachment to material possessions enables us to be better stewards of the environment since less waste will be produced as a result of our excessive consumption habits, which frequently result in waste going directly into landfills or the ocean, where it further pollutes them every day. Additionally, this way of living promotes thoughtful consumption, in which people buy just what they need rather than on impulse, which ultimately results in a decrease in the number of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere during the process of producing things.
In conclusion, living a life without connection to worldly goods has numerous advantages, such as more freedom, better mental health, and environmental awareness. As a result, it needs to be promoted among those trying to find methods to improve their own lives while also having an influence on society as a whole.
What Are Some Practical Ways to Live Out Biblical Principles Regarding Money and Possessions?
1. Give Generatively: The Bible exhorts us to give liberally and selflessly out of love for God and others rather than out of duty (2 Corinthians 9:7). Putting this into practice could entail designating a percentage of your monthly salary for giving to a church or charity.
2. Live frugally: Jesus advised us to be happy with what we have and to stop worrying about acquiring additional things (Matthew 6:25–34). This entails spending responsibly, staying out of debt as much as possible, and being aware of the impact of our expenditures on the community.
3. Invest Intelligently: The Bible teaches that if money is invested wisely, it may be used for good (Proverbs 21:20). Start a company, put money into mutual funds or stocks, invest in equities, or support causes you care about.
4. Use Your Time and Talents Generatively: We are obligated to use our time and abilities for the good of others (Ephesians 4:28). Practically speaking, this can entail helping out at a neighborhood soup kitchen or teaching young people who require academic support. It could also entail applying your talents, like writing or graphic design, to produce materials that will aid others in need.
Exploring the Spiritual Significance of Giving Away Our Material Goods
Giving away our tangible possessions may have a significant spiritual impact. It is a manifestation of generosity and selflessness, two traits that are highly regarded in a wide variety of religious traditions. We show our readiness to put the needs of others above our own by giving our things to others who need them more than we do. The Golden Rule, which is found in many versions throughout multiple religions and civilizations around the world, is to treat others as you would like to be treated. This sort of selfless action can be considered an expression of that principle.
Giving away our tangible possessions also affects how we see ourselves and the world around us. Giving without expecting anything in return can help us develop humility because it serves as a constant reminder that no matter how much money or influence we may have, there will always be someone else who needs more than we can provide. Giving away our stuff helps us remember that everyone is created equal, regardless of social position or economic hardship. It also inspires us to understand that everyone deserves respect and compassion, no matter what their situation may be.
Additionally, it strengthens our faith in God’s care for us when we give something worthwhile away without expecting anything in return. We learn that even if everything else were taken away from us tomorrow, God would still meet all of our needs by His ideal plan for every one of us (Philippians 4:19). This understanding brings with it a sense of peace and contentment because it enables us to let go of worry about not having enough resources or worrying about where they might come from in the future; rather, fully trusting in God’s goodness gives rise to faith-filled confidence rather than worry-ridden anxiety (Matthew 6:25–34).
So, sharing some or even all of what is rightfully ours can have a positive effect on our spiritual health by helping us develop traits like kindness and humility and by making it easier for us to trust God.
The Bible tells us that spiritual things are more significant than worldly possessions. The things that will offer us genuine joy and fulfillment are our connection with God and loving others. While material riches may be transient, a firm belief in God will last forever.
Joseph Bates is a teacher at the University of Holy Cross. He has served on the staff of Northern Baptist and United Methodist churches in Tampa, Ohio, and Florida.