1 The Influence of Materialism- Discussion Starters

  1. Nobody beyond reach.  What is the primary warning of our memory text, Romans 12:2? Does materialism have something to do with our wanting to be wealthy? If it’s not wrong to be wealthy, is there anything wrong with working hard to gain wealth? At what point does our striving for financial gain become materialism? Do you agree that money is one way Satan uses to reach Christians and win them over to his way?
  2. The god of this world. Our lesson begins by stating that money is the god of this world and that materialism is its religion. In what way or ways is materialism a religion? Could you live without money? Do you agree that if we love money, we’ll never have enough? A comment from Ellen White in the lesson suggests that during Christ’s stay on earth, humanity became enamored with materialism. Aren’t you glad we don’t have that problem these days? “Oh,” you say, “But we do!” Explain.
  3. Finding the barns. Is it a problem with being wealthy that you have to have somewhere to place your money and your possessions? If so, what does that problem have to do with materialism? Jesus said, “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.” What does materialism advocate? What is the horrible condition of a Christian wrapped up in a longing for wealth? Can a wealthy person love God? If you think so, how will that wealthy person show his love for God?
  4. The allure of materialism. Do you ever feel excited when you see something advertised on TV or in some other way? At what point can that feeling of excitement be sinful? As long as you have plenty of money to buy and use and store whatever you want, are you still in danger of being possessed with materialism? Can a poor person become possessed by materialism? How? 
  5. Love of self. Didn’t Lucifer have just cause for admiring himself? Wasn’t he superior to other created beings in heaven for his good looks and talents? Was Lucifer “conceited” or did he just recognize his superiority? What is the biggest temptation that many wealthy people have? How does the religion of materialism contribute to this temptation? How does materialism clash with Christianity?
  6. The ultimate futility of materialism. How can you and I have a love for God that is so strong that materialism presents no temptation? Materialism, your lesson states, is identity confusion. How does that work? Do you agree? Imagine owning a cruise ship that is your pride and joy until it is caught in a terrible storm and crushed to pieces. As you look at the wreckage that is brought to shore, how is your spiritual life affected? Are you willing to move on with God as your guide? Or are you angry with God for dealing with you so harshly?  
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons