“No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.*” Mark 6:24
Hate money to love God? I immediately asked: why does it have to be one or the other? I was in my late twenties at the time, and trying to figure out the husband/father/provider thing.
At face value, I thought the Church’s teaching was that money was evil, yet I spent all my waking (and working) hours trying to get more of it. Maybe that’s your perception also. Insert internal conflict here.
I put my hands up. Hard working providers, “Bread Winners”, should not feel forced to lead a “double-life” – church member on Sunday and capitalist on Monday.
Commerce is as much a part of our existence as the planet itself, so money dealings remain unavoidable. People working hard for their homes, families and futures shouldn’t be lumped in with the Scrooges of the world.
But does just needing money mean it’s your master?
So looking closer, I learned that we may not always put our money where our mouth is, but our money is always where are hearts are. And what’s in our heart is what makes up what kind of person we are. So this warrants investigation.
I also learned that the love of money is what get us off track. Money itself is just a means to an end.
There’s a world of difference between needing money and loving it.
So back to the scripture verse we started with, the key words I now see are “serve” and “masters”. Whose way, yours or God’s, will you subscribe to as you plow through the work week? This verse is really all about intent.
Intent does not have anything to do with amounts, whether you have a lot or a little. Your current balance is just that, current. You can serve a master with any amount.
There are four things we can do with money:
- save it
- spend it
- give it away
- covet it.
Only one of those four things is discouraged.
So be honest with yourself. Intent is the heart of the matter. And inside your heart, you don’t just find your true self, you find a meeting place that only you and God share.
So prove it to yourself – Today, look to give a little money away without any concern for repayment.
*Mammon: Riches, material wealth or the personification of money as a deity.
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