What Does The Bible Say About Possessing Earthly Things?
The Bible is clear that possessions are only temporary. In the Book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon wrote: “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3). He emphasizes that our earthly possession are temporary and only God will last forever.
The Bible also supports the idea of being content with what we have and not chasing after earthly gain. In Luke 12:15 Jesus said, "Take heed and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15) He warns against searching after possessions and putting them above other priorities such as service to God.
In 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Paul wrote, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing let us be content." He encourages us to be thankful for what we have without desiring more than necessary or beyond our means.
Finally, in Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19). This confirms that physical possession may rust or age over time but anything that brings glory to God will stand eternally forever.
All that being said, here is our list of relevant scriptures:
Matthew 6:19-21 - Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Hebrews 13:5 - Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Colossians 3:1-4 - If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Philippians 4:19 - But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
James 4:14 - Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Matthew 6:24 - No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
1 John 2:15-17 - Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
James 4:4 - Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Romans 12:2 - And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ephesians 5:11 - And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Luke 21:1-4 - And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. (Read More...)
2 Corinthians 9:7 - Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Matthew 6:33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Luke 12:13-21 - And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
1 Timothy 6:8 - And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
Mark 10:45 - For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Matthew 19:23 - Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Titus 2:11-12 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Exodus 14:14 - The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Matthew 16:26 - For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Isaiah 41:10 - Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
What is considered worldly things?
Worldly things, or "worldly-mindedness," refers to materialistic pursuits that lead one away from living a spiritual life. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Paul states that in the “last days perilous times shall come” and there will be those who are “lovers of their own selves…covetous and boasters” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). He was referring to people whose focus and desires had been replaced by earthly pleasures instead of God.
Other examples of worldly things include money, possessions, achievement, recognition, fame and power. These are all things that people often turn to as a source of security when in reality, they cannot provide true satisfaction apart from Jesus Christ.
Numerous Bible scriptures warn against trusting in them (Psalm 62:10) because they can easily draw us away from relying on God for our daily strength and hope.
Finally, along with being disconnected from the Lord by placing too much importance on worldly possessions comes deeper problems such as greed and pride, which lead to sinning against God (Colossians 3:5).
Chasing after riches is never something that should be done with the intention of obtaining anything other than God’s pleasure. As Jesus commanded, pray everyday that you fall not into temptation.
What does worldly possession mean?
Worldly possessions should mean more than just tangible items. Being rich in heart, in experiences, and in relationships should take precedence over simply having wealth.
To truly possess something requires ownership of the idea, notion, and philosophy behind it, not just the physical object itself. Possession isn’t only what you own, but also how you perceive it—how you make use of it and how you can bring out its full potential.
Having great material things is fleeting, they come and go as we move through life - but true ownership comes from addressing the deeper meaning that lies underneath these things. Comprehending what really matters beyond possessions helps us to achieve personal satisfaction no matter our circumstances.
Consider being part of projects or inspiring conversations that add value to your life instead of chasing superficial concepts or things with limited worth. A lifetime spent striving for shallow objectives will never be time well spent.
Instead, share your knowledge and belongings with those who will benefit from them most, align yourself with people who value your success, and give freely so that others may become inspired too. Connecting authentic values that shape each person’s hopes and dreams is far more valuable than collecting objects which signify nothing more than pride.
Bible verses about having earthly things
Bible scriptures speak frequently against the greed, pride, and foolishness of people who put their trust in material wealth. It cautions us to be wise with our possessions, not only by rationing sustainable use but also by reconsidering the impact of those choices on others.
Proverbs 11:28 teaches us: “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.”
Jesus instructs us to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven rather than pile up riches here on earth (Matthew 6:19-20). James 4:13 warns us that boasting about tomorrow is an arrogant temptation.
Psalm 49:16 reminds us of our mortality when it says “Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the gleam of his wealth increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies…”
Finally, Philippians 4:19 encourages us to seek contentment with wisdom, which it calls “a priceless treasure.” Meaningful contentment eludes those who focus solely on accumulating worldly possessions.
What are some worldly possessions?
Worldly possessions can be anything that we acquire in this physical world, such as money, cars, houses, jewelry, clothing, electronics, and any other material goods.
However, we should not put our trust in these possessions, for they are temporary and will not last forever.
Instead, let us focus on the eternal treasures of Heaven, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, which are fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Let us seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to us.
May we not be attached to the things of this world, but rather seek to use them for the glory of God and to bless others in need.