How can we teach our children the emptiness of materialism in a direct and memorable way? Take them to a garage sale and show them how things that people spent great amounts of money on are now sold for pennies.
Or, take them to visit a dump or junkyard. It can actually be a great family event. (The lines are shorter than at amusement parks, admission is free, and little boys love it.) Show them all the piles of “treasures” that were formerly Christmas and birthday presents. Point out things costing hundreds of dollars, that children quarreled about, friendships were lost over, honesty was sacrificed for, and marriages broke up over. Show them the remnants of battered dolls, rusted robots, and crashed cars. Let them look at the expensive furniture and electronic gadgets that now lie useless. Point out to them that nearly everything your family owns will one day end up in a junkyard like this.
Then read, or ask them to read, 2 Peter 3:10-14, which says when Christ returns the whole world “will be destroyed by fire” and “the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” Ask them the ultimate question: “When all that you owned lies abandoned, broken, burned and useless, what will you have done that will last for eternity?”
What will survive the coming holocaust of things? The answer is, only God, His Word and people. Explain to your children how life should be invested in the eternal. Read to them Matthew 6:19-25, where Jesus says, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Tell them “you can’t take it with you,” but according to Jesus, you can send it on ahead!
For more, see our other resources on money and giving, as well as Randy's related books.
photo credit: Julep67 via photopin cc / Corners modified from original
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.