Matthew 6 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.
There are two warring masters who are distinct in their influence to dominate your life, thoughts and very being. You cannot be on the fence…indeed one master must be despised if the other reigns. Christ says we cannot serve both. He also teaches that we cannot be neutral to these commanding forces…if we are not under one domain by default we are under another. I have encountered many Christian finance blogs that seem to suggest we can have the best of both worlds but this is not the teaching of Christ. I have also seen so many great and helpful tools (some on my blog) that help us be financially responsible and often concerned (if we are not careful) that these do not become a new line of “modern toys “ that preoccupy us well. But we eventually miss the point as they do help us to win the urgent money battle only to lose the critical war. When we put so much focus on money, we are always lured into a romance with an intensely jealous and controlling mistress that will not permit Christ any ground.
How then can we know if we are serving “ mammon”? There are seven (7) simple questions in this blog. Be certain that for each question you will only be able to hold on to one selection and never both. If your life leans more to the bold italicised clause then perhaps you are not in mammon’s grip. Then intercede for the freedom of others …
- Is the Word of God on finances/money a pretext (something that is put forward to conceal a true purpose or object; an ostensible reason; excuse…to support or propagate a principle we already elect to embrace) OR is the Word the main text that drives behaviour (the leading theme that controls our life – even when challenging to your acceptance)?
- Are we focused on the situational ethics of money ( right behaviour based on current expectations of society and business culture) OR are we committed concerning our decisions to the leading of the Holy Spirit of Christ – the interpreter of God’s word especially in the little things the world considers immaterial?
- Where are we making friends/spending most our time/forging and leveraging our alliances…and investing our money and efforts? Is it mainly to make more money OR to win souls for Christ and be Christ-like?
- Is our concentrated objective the stewardship and discovery of what Christ calls the True Riches OR any kind of riches will do?
- Have we been mastered by Godly contentment and ruled by its humbling sceptre OR are we restless and anxious to preserve or achieve a lifestyle that is driven by lusts, passions and irresistible marketing of gadgets and materials?
- Do we accept that worldly wealth though not evil in itself has a natural association with sin and can be our god requiring extra care for those who must embrace it OR do we conclude that we can easily blossom in worldly wealth – drink and be merry.
- Have we well addressed in our lives the foolishness of laying up treasures for ourselves here and being uncertain of the state of our eternal bank account – i.e. the state and reality of our eternal dwellings OR we think eternity will take care of itself, let’s figure out how to pay today’s bill and manage assets and liabilities we can see.
Ephesians 1 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
We will find out that Christ is right in that it is deception to conclude that we can be on both sides.. To have Christ reign is a full-time deal demanding full allegiance and devotion. Similarly to be a servant to mammon is to be under a powerful influence that demands complete, unalloyed, homogenous and undivided attention to its gospel.
This does not mean we cannot be wealthy and be free from mammon. Possessions do not have to be another god. Instead, possessions should be a means of glorifying God and advancing the Kingdom of God – otherwise they will become destructive … eventually.
Ecclesiastes 5: He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
Read more in my recent publication Wealth out of Ashes. Also, for more reflections and related articles and free subscription to articles please click icon below. Be blessed as you also enjoy the audio teaching “Christ’s view of Money, Mammon” on the side bar.