Will It Be God or Gadgets

"We brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry noting out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content" (I Timothy 6:7-8).

In our materialistic society we find it difficult to accept this advice. The United States has only 7 percent of the world’s population while she produces over one-half of the world’s goods and services. Such prosperity is wonderful, provided it does not blind us to our need for God (and only a comparatively few are ever other than blinded).

But some observer has suggested that we are trading God for gadgets! Is the indictment true? It does seem that many of us have decided that a happy and abundant life comes from possession of a washing machine, an electric razor, and electric blanket, another automobile, and dozens of other gadgets which promise us ease. But the real problem is internal, for while amassing these conveniences we have failed to develop ourselves inside.

Eventually, we meet the inevitable moment of crisis. You can’t meet a crisis with a Cadillac; you can’t heal a broken heart with a boat; you can’t clean a guilty conscience with a vacuum cleaner. Dollars cannot promise dignity; possessions cannot supply purpose. It is a good thing to have money and the things that money can buy, but it is a good thing to check up once in a while and make sure you have not lost the things that money cannot buy.

Statisticians have calculated that 100 years ago the average American had 72 wants, of which 16 were rated as necessities, whereas today’s American has 484 wants, of which 94 are considered necessities. In other words, we have more items on our list of necessities than our forefathers of 100 years ago had on their "want list."

Money is an instrument by which great good can be accomplished. But our nation desperately needs, at this point in her history, a generation of persons dedicated to a higher purpose than the accumulation of material wealth. When a London newspaper offered a prize for the best definition of money, the winning response was: "Money is an instrument that can buy you everything but happiness, and pay your fare to every place but heaven."

The text with which we started this lesson continues with these words: "... They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, 0 man of God, flee these things: and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness" (I Timothy 6:9- 11). Adoption of this determination is worthy of the highest effort.

Joe R. Barnett in 20th Century Christian