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Book ReviewsDiscerning Culture

Worldliness Chapter 4 – God, My Heart and My Stuff

If, in my definition,worldliness is thinking something is more cool than Jesus, his gospel, and his kingdom for an extended period of time, then material things certainly fit into that category for American teens.

In chapter 4 Dave Harvey doesn’t directly attack stuff. Instead he moves more subtly to coveting

Coveting is desiring stuff too much or desiring too much stuff.. It is replacing our delight in God with joy in stuff. Materialism is what happens when coveting has cash to spend. p. 95

His diagnosis of the problem:

Covetousness chains the heart to things that pass away. p.99

Chain 1: My Stuff Makes Me Happy.

Chain 2: My Stuff Makes Me Important

Chain 3: My Stuff Makes Me Secure

Chain 4: My Stuff Makes Me Rich

His proposed prescription:

Consider Your True Riches

Confess and Repent of Coveting

Express Specific Gratitude

De-Materialize Your Life

Give Genereously

Parents Guard Your Children Defensively against the onslaughts of advertisement. Advertisements move wants to needs. Advertising creates a desire so strong that we are compelled to buy the product. Offensively – guide your children to share. (I would say give generously).

My take:

Dave does an excellent job of taking us to Scriptures where Jesus speaks of the danger of riches. In addition, this chapter exposes the lies and motivations that tug at kids and parents: happiness, importance, security and riches. The applications are worth expanding with a group of teens by asking how we specifically fight this pull.

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