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.Matthew 6:24
If there was one word I could use to describe the average life of an American in the 21st Century it would be…
It seems all the benefits we were supposed to get from technological advances have made us slaves to a deadline rather than giving us more free time. Christians are not immune to this problem. So, we often juggle multiple schedules and try to find time to do everything we and our children want to do. And what do we find? We are …
In seeking to be a disciple of Christ, most of God’s people look like they are trying to hold the world in one hand and the church in the other. This may seem like an honorable thing to do in this busy world, but there is one huge problem with that approach to life – Jesus said we CANNOT do it!
While most of us would never consider ourselves to be worshipping or serving money (mammon), we need to consider what Jesus is teaching us in this single verse. He has just told us in the previous verses that if our focus is on too many things, then we will fill our lives with emptiness. He draws that thought to a conclusion with this verse, and simply says we cannot serve God and money.
It’s not that we are juggling between personal desires and service to God. Jesus does not say that we cannot do that very well. He flat out says we can’t do it! So, that means if I think I am trying to do that, I am trying to do something that the All-Powerful, Eternal Son of God has said cannot be done. Which means, if I am focusing on personal gain and comfort, I am not serving God.
Now, I am not suggesting that we all quit our jobs and form a commune where all we do is have church all the time. The Bible is clear in the fact that man was made to work (Genesis 2:15; 2nd Thessalonians 3:10). But we need to make sure we are working for the right reasons. If we are focused on wealth or keeping up with our friends in their collection of stuff, then we are serving mammon. If we are doing that, then we are not serving God no matter how much we say we have “balanced” our lives.
Money is amoral because it is just an inanimate object. Therefore, money becomes whatever we make it. We can love gaining it and become a slave to it. Or, we can use it to provide for ourselves, our families, and others to the glory of God. It all depends on our focus (have a single eye).
Therefore, we can and should continue working and be the best employee on our jobs. But not for the sole purpose of gaining wealth or prominence. Our jobs should help us provide enough for our NEEDS (not our WANTS) and not get in the way of our regular worship of the Lord. Further, we should serve God while working on our jobs by being a blessing to others around us.
If you are like me, you try to self-justify your approach to life at times. You make excuses so that you can do what you WANT to do for personal pleasure. When that happens, we need to step back and see what Jesus says we are doing. Jesus says that kind of behavior despises God.
I don’t want to do that. And I am sure you don’t either.
But here is the blessing of all of this. When we put God first and foremost in our lives, we find peace. Which is exactly the opposite of…