So the book of the moment 1 is Thomas Brooks’ book “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices”.

Written in 1652 still materialism was alive and well and Brooks gives us 8 remedies which I’ll list here with a little of his explanation.

  1. Dwell upon the weakness of material possessions – a crown of gold cannot cure a headache, rich and poor get the flu.
  2. Dwell on the vanity of all worldly goods – there’s a meaninglessness to having lots of stuff, it’s pointless and achieves nothing – just read Ecclesiastes.
  3. Dwell on how quick things can change – your iPhone goes out of date quickly, your car gets scratched, savings can (and do) go up and down, if you’re rich now you may one day be poor. You can’t live for something so quickly changing and transient.
  4. Consider how much hurt to the inner person is caused by material wealth – snobbery, pride, envy, busyness, weariness. Those are the fruits of materialism and who wants lots of them?!
  5. Consider that material joy comes also with pain – materialism is often bitter sweet. Sorrow often accompanies worldly joy. Financial reward comes with bitter costs.
  6. Getter better acquainted with more glorious things – men ate acorns till they realised you could make bread from wheat, so there are better treasures to be had in the gospel than material ones – get to know them, think about them – then materialism won’t seem that shiny any more.
  7. Seriously consider that true happiness is not found in the enjoyment of worldly goods – “certainly happiness lies not in those things which cannot comfort a man upon a dying bed. Is it honour, riches or friends which can comfort you when you come to die? Or is it not rather faith in the blood of Christ, the witness of the Spirit of Christ, the sense and feeling of the love and favour of Christ, and the hopes of eternally reigning with Christ?”
  8. Solemnly consider the dignity of the soul – your soul is worth more than materialism, you were born for greater things than material toys.

Notes:

  1. as in my current reading for Dead Puritans Society – see my last post also.