Friday: Further Thought – I See, I Want, I Take

Further Thought: The ultimate human goal is to be happy and satisfied. But being self-fulfilled through materialism will not achieve this goal. Deep down people know this is true, and yet they continue in their obsession with possessions: I see, I want, I take.What could be simpler than that? Seventh-day Adventists, just like everyone else, are faced with the temptation to subscribe to the values of materialism. Yet the continual acquisition of goods does not produce happiness, satisfaction, or contentment.

Spectacles on Bible

Image © Stan Myers from

Instead it produces problems, as seen when the rich young ruler turned away from Jesus unhappy, despondent, and downhearted because he did not hear or get what he wanted. “Materialistic values are associated with a pervasive undermining of people’s well-being, from low life satisfaction and happiness, to depression and anxiety, to physical problems such as headaches, and to personality disorders, narcissism, and antisocial behavior.” – Tim Kasser, The High Price of Materialism (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2002), p. 22.

Materialistic Christians, in other words, proudly drink from the well of wealth but are spiritually dehydrated. But we will never thirst from drinking the water Christ gives (John 4:14).

Discussion Questions:

  1. Dwell more on the idea of the prosperity gospel. What texts might those who believe in this idea use to try to promote it? At the same time, what examples can you find from the Bible of faithful people whose lives are living refutations of this false teaching?
  2. After his first child was a few years old, a man said: “I have learned two important biblical truths from this child. First, that we are born sinners. Second, that we are born greedy.” Who can relate stories about how even children reveal just how naturally greedy we as humans beings are What does this tell us about the need of divine grace?
  3. “If we’re looking for the source of our troubles,” someone wrote, “we shouldn’t test people for drugs – we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power.” What is it about greed that is so damaging, not just to the greedy person himself or herself but to those around him or her? What examples do you know of in which greed has caused terrible damage to all involved?

Leave a comment

Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons