Some excerpts from Money Possessions and Eternity, Chapter 4, The Dangers of Materialism:

Who needs God, we think, when we’ve got everything? This is why Jesus didn’t say, “You should not serve both God and money,” but “You cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24). Why? For the same reason a woman cannot have two husbands. When we carry on a love affair with the world we commit spiritual adultery. We place God in the role of the jilted husband. He loves us and longs for our return but will not allow us in his intimate chambers when we are prostituting ourselves to another. God will not be a half husband. He will not be comforted by the fact that we call him “Savior” when we refuse to follow him as Lord.

This analogy of the marriage relationship really helps me to understand how it must hurt God when we choose to follow other “idols”, and how stupid of a choice that action is. 

Some wonder why God still blesses with wealth many of the Western nations that have departed from their godly heritage. Perhaps the “blessing” is no longer a true blessing but a curse in disguise. The greatest blessing would be one that would return us to following God wholeheartedly – and our entanglement with wealth is certainly not accomplishing that. In the midst of prosperity, the challenge for believers is to handle wealth in such a way that it acts as a blessing, not a curse.

I love that Alcorn addresses this. I’ve often wondered the same thing. I hear about all the amazing things that are going on in other countries with respect to the Gospel being shared and cherished, and I think about the lack of this in the U.S. This chapter has really helped me to understand the seriousness of wealth and the burden of responsibility that wealthy individuals (nearly all Americans) and countries bear.