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Water is thicker than blood
By Rev. Dr. Michael H. Koplitz

Do Not Let Materialism Overtake Spirituality

By Rev. Dr. Michael H. Koplitz

7 And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; 8 and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff-- no bread, no bag, no money in their belt-- 9 but to wear sandals. Mark 6:7-9


The theme of this passage is the danger of Materialism. Yeshua advised his disciples to divest themselves of material needs before they could be useful in helping him build the Kingdom of Heaven. However, the disciples were not yet trained in how to accomplish this. How could they be expected to release all of their beliefs about Materialism so quickly? Therefore, Yeshua could have been testing them to learn how much work He needed to put into their re-education.


Your desire for Materialism over Spirituality can be discovered by taking a moment and reflecting on how much you give to the work of your church or Bible study group. How much of your total income do you give? This is a taboo subject in most Christian groups. When tithing sermons are presented, they generally are accompanied by rejection.


The Bible says that a tithe is ten percent. Where did this come from? When Abraham met Melchezidek, the priest of Salem (old name for Jerusalem), Abraham immediately gave Melchezidek ten percent of everything he had in thanksgiving to the LORD. Imagine if tithing was considered an offering of thanksgiving to the LORD. Would members of the church or your Bible group give more then? United Methodist reports indicate that people give 1.8% of their income to the church. A far cry from 10%. So, what do you give to thank the LORD for your blessings?


Materialism was a problem in Jesus' day as well as in our own culture today. It is challenging to live in this world and not be concerned about materials. After all, one does need food and shelter to live. However, our Christian experience is the only place in the LORD's creation where Materialism and Spirituality exist together. Our journey in this world is to come to an understanding that Spirituality matters more than Materialism. This is simple to say, but very difficult to accomplish.


Equally important is how the money will be used, which requires faithful stewardship. Since the money was given to the Lord, it should be used to glorify Him and to help His people. Do you know how your tithing money is being used? You might consider volunteering to serve on the committee that makes these decisions.


But first, seriously ponder what you are giving to the Lord. Then consider whether it is being used to glorify Him.


May the LORD bless you in your learning and studying of His Word.

Our journey in this world is to come to an understanding that Spirituality matters more than Materialism. This is simple to say, but very difficult to accomplish.

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Rev. Dr. Michael H. Koplitz

Pastor Michael H. Koplitz, D.Min., Ph.D. is an ordained minister, author, teacher, and webmaster at BibleInteract. He currently lives in York Pennsylvania with his wife, Sandy, where he has been a pastor at the United Methodist Church for over 18 years.


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