Monday, October 01, 2012

J I Packer on Holiness and Materialism

Neat quote by J I Packer from the chapter on "Holiness and Sanctification" in his book, God's Words...

A holy person's life will not centre on things: instead, a certain frugality will mark it, an eschewing of luxury and display, a sense of stewardship of all possessions, and a readiness to let them go if need be for the Lord's sake. Holy people do not undervalue this world's good things, as if God did not make or provide them (Manicheism, the belief that material things are bad, is no part of holiness), but they refuse to be enslaved to them. Nor do they squint sideways to compare their material showing with that of others; they know that keeping up with the Joneses is not holiness, even if Jones goes to their church or is in orbit in some Christian celebrity circuit. The holy person lives free from the passion for possessions, just as he does from other forms of self-seeking and self-indulgence. His treasure is with God, and his heart too (cf. Mt. 6:19-21). The cheerfulness of his disregard of the world's scale of values, and the straight-forward, single-minded, spontaneous ardour of his love for God may make him somewhat unnerving company, though if so it is because he is so much more honest and human than we who watch him, not because he is odd and we are normal.

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