Is Materialism our new God?
Let’s begin with a simple question: Who is our God? God is that in which we repose all our faith. If I say that your faith is in your God and so I am going to take away all your money and property, will you say it doesn’t matter? No, you’ll be lost because your faith is in your money and property. Because that has become your God today.
How did we get here? Early man didn’t know about money; he got his food through hunting, and later agriculture. Eventually there was a barter system—you caught a fish, he grew crops, and you gave him part of the fish in exchange for some portion of the crop. Then, to make it more universal, money was created. If I didn’t want your fish, I could take money from you and give you a part of the crop. Money was a wonderful medium of exchange which actually acted as a unifying force.
But then came insecurity and we began to collect the money and hoard it, thereby depleting others of it and that became a power game. If I can hoard more money than you, then I have more power than you because I have more purchasing ability. And that was the onset of what we call materialism.
So while the creation and concept of money was wonderful, we have reduced it to a nasty game where I need to have more for myself, and it’s never enough. It only displays my weakness; that I need more because I am insecure within. But if I were sated from within, then I need only as much as whatever is truly a ‘need’ and not a ‘want’. The need for my sustenance is to purchase my daily food, not to stock up for the next 10 years, which is a want. Therein lies the imbalance.
What actually was a unifying force—money—has today become a diversifying force. And materialism has become our new God.