The problem with things

Posted on July 6, 2015 · Posted in Parenting, Proverbs and the Gospel, Worldview

We are often surprised when our children become unhappy with their toys. It is easy to forget that toys are merely things, material things. In this sense we are often like our children. We are surprised when things don’t make us happy.

The miscalculation of this age, of any age, is to look for hope without looking for God.  A culture rich with material things is a culture that will be dominated by bitterness and disappointment. Why? Because things never satisfy. Ultimately, they will always disappoint. Your children can have a closet full of toys. You can have more things than you imagined. The result is the same. When you live for material things you measure happiness by what you can see, taste, and hold. When this happens disappointment is not far behind.

Without the life-changing power of Christ and his gospel, life will disappoint. In the end, someone will say – it doesn’t matter.

The Holy Spirit uses the words of our Savior to speak to a materialistic culture. Jesus taught that life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. Luke 12

When you or your children become disappointed with things or with other people, you have lost sight what has value. You have lost sight of bringing honor to God. You have made the error of thinking that things are to be used for your pleasure rather than for God’s honor. This is true whether you talking about your children’s toys or the new appliance you just bought for your home. Can a toy or appliance be a good thing? Of course, as long as it is pursed with bringing honor to God in the way you use it.

For the Christian all things matter, because all that you do is be done for the glory and honor of God. This life of material things is not all that there is. Things will not lead to happiness, but to disappointment. It is the gospel that matters. The gospel matters because it transforms your ability to distinguish between things of value and things that only pretend to offer value.

The gospel matters because there is only one Person who will not disappoint you – his name is Jesus.

Instructing a Child's Heart


Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.