Sermon quotes on materialism

Randy Alcorn

The grace that has freed us from bondage to sin is desperately needed to free us from our bondage to materialism.

Dietrich Bonheoffer

Lack of repentance is the root cause of powerlessness in the church, in this materialistic, self-indulgent age. There can be no spiritual power in a non-repentant church.


Sylvia Boorstein

People are realizing that what seemed important to them in their lives-materialism and consumerism-doesn’t work at all to make a happy heart. It actually makes an unhappy heart. And an unhappy world.

Art Buchwald

The best things in life aren’t things.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The world says: “You have needs — satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more.” This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.” 

The Brothers Karamazov

Tom Ford

But as an adult working in the fashion industry, I struggle with materialism. And I’m one of the least materialistic people that exist, because material possessions don’t mean much to me. They’re beautiful, I enjoy them, they can enhance your life to a certain degree, but they’re ultimately not important.

C.S. Lewis

As long as this deliberate refusal to understand things from above, even where such understanding is possible, continues, it is idle to talk of any final victory over materialism.

Malcolm Muggeridge

The most terrible thing about materialism, even more terrible than its proneness to violence, is its boredom, from which sex alcohol, drugs, all devices for putting out the accusing light of reason and suppressing the unrealizable aspirations of love, offer a prospect of deliverance.

Leonard Ravenhill

Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?

E. F. Schumacher

An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.

Mark Twain

There is no such thing as material covetousness. All covetousness is spiritual. …Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment.

Robert Wuthnow

Materialism is not fundamentally an economic problem, but a cultural one… a spiritual issue. It runs to the depths of our souls, and, for this reason, needs to be understood less in terms of budgets or fiscal cycles and more in terms of where we locate the sacred, of where we search for meaning and transcendence, and of how we think about justice, equality, and the future of our world.


John Steinbeck

A strange species we are, we can stand anything God and nature can throw at us save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much, and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy, sick.

Letter to Adelai Stevenson

John Piper

Who do you think has the deepest, most satisfying joy in life, the man who pays $140 for a fortieth-floor suite downtown and spends his evening in the half-lit, smoke-filled lounge impressing strange women with ten-dollar cocktails, or the man who chooses the Motel 6 by a vacant lot of sunflowers and spends his evening watching the sunset and writing a love letter to his wife?

Desiring God (Portland, Ore.: Multnomah, 1987), p.157.

Anna Quindlen

There was a period when I believed stuff meant something. I thought that if you had matching side chairs and a sofa that harmonized and some beautiful lamps to light them you would have a home, that elegance signaled happiness.


Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.

Thomas à Kempis

Let temporal things be in the use, eternal things in the desire.

The Imitation of Christ

Campbell Morgan

Persecution was the devil’s second-best tactic. His best tactic is materialism, and we in the West have been sleepwalkers in our faith for too long, forgetting in the midst of a life of material ease and manic busyness that we are even in a spiritual battle.

Quoted in Ronald Boyd-MacMillan, Faith That Endures (Grand Rapids: Revell, 2006), p. 6.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Thus it is that we always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.

The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation

Charles Spurgeon

Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of the Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else.

Morning and Evening, Based on the English Standard Version

Paul David Tripp

The minute you hear a sermon on materialism, you’re glad somebody else is there to hear it.

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