Less Important is Not Unimportant
"Sometimes people do not completely spiritualize material prosperity, but they greatly downplay it or disparage it as unimportant. And this is understandable and, rightly qualified, correct. This recognizes that there are things of greater and lesser importance in the world. And it is clear that material wealth is not of ultimate importance: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul” (Mark 8:36)? But there is a very big difference between being less important and being unimportant. This is a distinction Jesus understood, but one that his followers sometimes have difficulty with. Telling his followers not to worry about food, shelter, and clothing, he does not conclude that they do not need them. He says that his Father will take care of them and provide for them: “So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:31-33). This last phrase banishes forever the false dichotomy: the kingdom of God or material well-being. Jesus says, “as well.” The same Jesus who forgave the paralytic his sins (and thus provoking the Pharisees) also healed him (Mark 2:1-12)."