Jesus tells me I “cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13) I must seek to be content with what I have, and materialism is the exact opposite of that contentment. It causes me to strive for more and more and more, all the while telling me that this will be the answer to all my needs and dreams.
Again, Jesus tells me that a person’s “life is not in the abundance of the things which he possesses” (Luke 12:15) and that I am to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? | 1 John 3:17
If I am preoccupied with material things, it is definitely wrong. That is not to say I cannot have material things, but the obsession with acquiring and caring for “stuff” is a dangerous thing for me as a slave of Jesus.
Any preoccupation, obsession or fascination with anything other than God is missing God’s goal (aka sinful) and is displeasing to God. I am to “Love the Master, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), which is, according to Jesus, the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38). God is the only thing I can (and should) occupy myself with habitually. He alone is worthy of my complete attention, love and service. To offer these things to anything, or anyone, else is idolatry.
When I concern myself with the material world, I am easily drawn in by the “deceitfulness of wealth” (Mark 4:19), thinking that I will be happy or fulfilled or content if only I had more of whatever it is I am chasing. This is a lie from the father of lies, Satan. He wants me to be chasing after something he knows will never satisfy us so I will be kept from pursuing that which is the only thing that can satisfy — God Himself.