|Posted on January 13, 2021 at 1:05 PM|
In his sermon on the mount Jesus spoke to an issue that concerns us all, our money. After telling us to quit trying to get rich on earth and instead get rich in heaven he explains, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” He further explains that what we focus on will determine our understanding and tells us bluntly, “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.”
All of us have been conditioned by this world to trust our money for not only our physical needs for food, clothing, and shelter, but also our personal needs for worth. In fact, when we ask the question concerning a man’s “net worth” we are asking how much money does he have? In reality our personal need for worth has nothing to do with our money or wealth but rather a sense of security from knowing we are loved unconditionally and a sense of significance from knowing we are important. Although money provides a false sense of security and significance in this world, it never really satisfies these deep personal needs. “Serving mammon” as Jesus put it is the slavery of relying on money for our physical and personal needs and prevents us from serving God. The two are mutually exclusive.
Paul gives us more insight on the subject in his first letter to his disciple Timothy. He writes, “For they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into may foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Note that Paul said it was the love of money, not simply the money itself, that is the root of all evil. Trusting money rather than God to meet our physical and personal needs is where the danger lies. So Paul further writes, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works; ready to distribute, willing to communicate”. (1Timothy 6)
The present evil in our world is due to a failure to trust God to provide for our personal needs. Whether it be on a national level or a personal level the love of money and the associated power that comes with it betrays a lack of trust in the living God. Trusting mammon to meet our needs is not just a problem for those we consider to be rich in this world, but for those who we may consider poor as well. Both the rich and the poor may think they need more than what God provides for them. In his sermon Jesus went on to address the poor saying don’t worry about tomorrow, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. And to the rich Paul says use your riches to bless others and share what you have.
No matter whether we are rich or poor our faith in God’s provisions for our physical and personal needs will be demonstrated in a joyful confidence about our own future that frees us to love others. Our faith in God is not that he will give us more money, but that he will lead us by his Spirit to do what he wants us to do with what money we have. Rather than the normal attitude of using people and loving money, we are free to use our money to love people.