You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. (James 5:5)

WHEN A WOMAN DIED, four-hundred pairs of shoes were found in her closet.

A family maxed out their credit card to take an exotic vacation.

It is easy to convince ourselves we will be happier if we spend more money or own more things. But when it comes to money and possessions, how much is too much? The Bible has principles that guide us in their use.

We have too much if we neglect the poor. Sharing our resources to help unfortunate people is not a suggestion in the Bible but a command the followers of Christ must take seriously.

We have too much if our possessions possess us. If we think only of our things and how to get more, we have too much.

We have too much if we are not content. A Christian content with his or her place in life and what he or she owns has discovered one of the secrets of happiness.

We have too much if we are not thankful. The simple act of bowing our heads before eating is pleasing to our heavenly Father.

We have too much if we forget our source. We cannot provide for ourselves. Daily we depend on God to supply our needs.

Possessions are temporary. God, His work, our souls, and the souls of others have eternal worth.

Using biblical standards, evaluate whether you have too much material wealth.

Jewell Johnson is a Bible teacher, a wife, and mother of six children, grandmother to nine. She enjoys walking, reading, and quilting.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.