Books The Arts

Chapter 8: Good Stuff

Trillia Newbell

“We’ve been told by our culture that the most important thing in life is the stuff we can acquire. A lot of people point the finger at hip-hop—but hip-hop isn’t the source of the problem. American culture is dripping with staunch materialism…We’ve bought into the lie that we are what we have, so we spend our lives chasing it.”

I’m going to assume something here. I’m going to assume we know everything Trip Lee shared in this chapter to be true. We know that wealth is futile and it doesn’t satisfy. We know that the Word of God says that we cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6: 24). We know that God owns it all. We know that there is an end—we will one day die and leave all of our stuff behind. But yet, we all struggle with a desire to hold onto stuff, strive for wealth, and worry about suffering financially. It is not sinful to be wealthy, it’s sinful to covet and idolize it. The question is what do we do with our riches? Are we hanging on them or serving others?

So let’s do a little heart digging and ask God to strengthen us to say with Paul: “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4: 11-13).

Questions:  Do you find it difficult to be generous (to give to others) because of fear of losing what you have? Are there ways that you believe the Lord might be urging you to be more generous? The prosperity gospel promises riches and a good life, have you fallen into the trap of believing this? If so, what are some truths in Scripture that help you fight to believe God’s faithfulness in all circumstances? How can we learn from Jesus’ life in this area (note, Lee gives us some hints)?

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