Thoughts by CARadke on
Devotions for the Man in the Mirror
by Patrick Morley

9. Surrender: A Recovering Materialist

Today Morley introduces us his world as a "recovering materialist." He recalls his life before becoming a Christian. He described himself as a moral materialist (or maybe a materialistic moralist). When he confessed Christ as Lord, he made the mistake that he has already talked about--he added Christ without subtracting anything. Although Morley views moralism to be compatible with Christianity, materialism is not--and he was still materialistic.

As humans, our sense of morality tends to be swayed by the other underlying values that we hold. If those underlying values come from things and prosperity, our "moral compass" will take its direction from materialism. If our underlying values come from salvation by grace through faith in Christ, our moral compass takes a whole new heading. Materialism and Christianity may point in similar directions sometimes, but sometimes they won't. In fact, sometimes they will point in opposite directions.

For example, consider an explorer who is trying to make his way to the north pole. The earth's axis points almost exactly at the North Star. By using that star as a guide, the explorer could find the north pole. If he followed his compass, it would point to the earth's magnetic north pole, which is in a different place. In fact, if he were standing directly on the earth's axis-- the "real" north pole--the north arrow of his compass would actually be pointing due south, leading him away from his destination. If he followed his compass from that point, the compass reading would grow weaker and weaker as he approached the magnetic north pole. Before he could reach magnetic north, the compass would be practically useless.

In a sense, God is like the North Star. He is a bright, fixed point that provides a true heading to reach our destination. It will take us directly where we want to go. Materialism, on the other hand, is more like magnetic north. Often times it will point in the correct general direction. It is useful as a crude form of navigation. But when we come to the true destination, it will actually be pointing another direction, leading us away from our goal.

To find our true bearings for life, we have to give up materialism. The problem is not that materialism might lead us in the wrong direction. The problem is that materialism absolutely will lead us in the wrong direction. It might seem to have similar results sometimes, but when we want to reach our final destination, it will be dead wrong.

Lord God, thank you for providing a way for me to commune with you. Let me remember always that you are my true north, my true center, my true goal. Help me to set aside my materialistic nature which leads me astray, for you are my final destination. I long to walk with you, today and every day. Amen.

Grace and peace--

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