Do we adore "Bling?" more than God?

By Paul Dion, STL

"Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,and the greed that is idolatry." (Paul, Colossians 3)

"Idolatry? Who, me? Idolatry is for Pagans with Golden Calves. I'm not like that."

Really? Then why do we "empty nesters" buy "Escalades" at age 70? Why do we spend $40,000 on a Quinceanera celebration? Why do we spend $35,000 on our father's funeral? Why do we spend $10,000 on an IBM laptop instead of $1,800 on a Dell? Why do we have ten expensive rings, five "King's Ransom" pendants and a $50,000 diamond bracelet?

It couldn't possibly be that we adore "BLING" more than "GOD", could it?

Let's take a look at this statement of St. Paul's to the Colossians. then, let's ask ourselves the following:

"Am I an idolator or am I a true worshipper and disciple of the one true God, and of Him alone?"

By the way, before we answer, let us check out the last sentence of Luke's quote of Jesus' comment to the crowd that He was instructing: 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?'Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God." (Luke, 12: 21-21)

Also this one from Luke 14: 25-33: "In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."

Join the discussion. Post your comment to the burning question.


  1. Anonymous9:55 AM

    I am an older person of 55 years and I have learned to live a very simple life without luxuries and am very happy and at peace with myself and the Lord. I found that trying to get nice things was taking my health away. I found myself working harder with increasing responsibilities to make more money only to find myself becoming ill from the stress. I was getting lumps in my breast and it became a reoccurring situation. I finally decided it was not worth it and left my position of an executive level. I always prayed to God and he would answer my prayers one way or another. I have always had faith in God so I knew he would get me through this. I live alone but have been very happy and stress free living a very simple life. I try to help others in need when I can, if not with money but with my time. It was the best thing I could've done for myself. My lumps are gone and have not returned in the last 5 years. I thank God every day and pray the Rosary while I sit on my porch and look at my beautiful garden. I spend a lot of time in my yard enjoying what God has given me. I am not an idolator, but I know that there are Saints the people talk to. They are there in spirit and I am sure they listen. I am a true believer. I feel very rich with my health and peace of mind. I am from a very large family and am very close to all my sisters and nieces and nephews. I have one daughter and two beautiful granddaughters. They are my life.

  2. Anonymous9:01 PM

    I think it's disgusting how Catholics often fear possessions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with possessing a lot of stuff. There is absolutely no limit on what we can own. God has not put limitations on how we are to spend our money. People who worry about such things are simply engaging in an exercise in futility.

    How rich is "too rich?" How many possessions are "too much?" Any answer given will be completely arbitrary and relative. The only way to determine whether you are "rich" or not is by comparing yourself to others - which is precisely what Christ said we should NOT do. It creates envy. It creates jealousy and despair. It is futile, and it is a waste of our spiritual and mental energy.

    I'm glad I'm rich. I'm glad I have a lot of possessions. I rejoice in them every day. And I thank God for them constantly. Every single thing I have is a gift from God. I have no guilt whatsoever over having tons of money. And anyone who DOES feel guilty over such things is a victim of bad reasoning.

    I have seen worry over wealth destroy some Catholics. I have actually seen some rich Catholics actually leave the Church, because they saw the Church as being intolerant of wealthy people. This is a great source of sadness to me. The Church is not against wealthy people. The fact that so many Catholics believe that it is is just sad.

    Some Catholics worry about how much they are required (that is, FORCED) to give to the Church or to charity in order to avoid hell. Rich Catholics tend to worry about this quite a lot. This is absurd. There is no definite amount required of Catholics. We are not bound to tithe (give 10% of our earnings) the way Mormons and many Protestants are. We simply give what we feel comfortable in our hearts giving. This is supported by Corinthians:

    The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor. 9:6–7)

    Catholic Answers states:

    "There is no mandatory requirement to give a specific amount of money or percentage of our income. We should each decide for ourselves how much to give and then do so in the true spirit of giving a gift."

    I'm sorry I've gone on so long. But worry about wealth is a good way to give oneself scrupulosity. I worried about these issues for years until a priest I respected and trusted eventually set me straight. What I want to see now is rich Catholics (and regular Catholics) actually taking some honest joy in being blessed with wealth and possessions, instead of laboring under the unhealthy fear that such things will send a person to hell.

    I am sick to death of this attitude and fight it in any and every way I can.

  3. Thank God for the prosperity that He allows certain people to have. He does demand one non-negotiable behavior from us all, rich and poor alike: to help widows, orphans, the sick, the lame, the hungry, the naked, the imprisoned, etc. If we do not do that, we will not enjoy the eternal peace and joy of Heaven. In the teachings of Jesus, it is clear that even $1.00 can be too much wealth. It is not the amount of money and material assets that we have that is important, it is the way we use them that will be the basis for the judgment rendered upon us by God Almighty. (Matthew 25)
    So, thank God if you are wealthy, if you gained your wealth through moral endeavors. But remember the responsibility that the words of Jesus put on us all. If you don't, you could wind up being a goat.