Matthew 6: 24
‘No-one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (money).”
Matthew 6 is primarily a chapter on money and our attitudes to it. In the middle of the chapter we find this now famous verse. Quoted many times and used to validate numerous different attitudes to and positions on what is the right Christian attitude to possessions, wealth and money.
What I find enormously significant is not just in what Jesus has said but what He actually chose not to say. For example Jesus does not actually tell us which of the two from the options given we are supposed to serve. He leaves it for us to decide and most likely you like everyone else I have every spoken to or read about in regard to this passage assume He means that we are to serve God. I am happily in agreement with that position.
The other thing that Jesus doesn’t say is that based on that fact, what therefore ought our relationship with money be? A stunningly important question I would suggest and one that I rarely hear people give an opinion on. As a result I suggest that for many Christians there is an attitude that money is essentially just a necessary evil which while we cannot do without we are somewhat embarrassed that we have any relationship with at all. Like a guilty man who is having a relationship with someone other than his wife but doesn’t want anyone to know!
This brief article is to say that is not good enough. We need to know what our relationship with money is to be and we need to ensure that all of our interaction with money is based on that understanding. I want to say it loud and clear that I believe that our relationship with money is that it is to serve us. It is to serve our family, our needs, our goals and indeed our destiny – our calling if you like. But there is a problem with achieving this. I believe that this is what Jesus was trying to tell us in the verse above.
Money doesn’t want to serve us, it wants to be served. It wants to rule, it wants to control and in the lives of countless humans it does just that. A love for it by many mean that their life is one of serving the desire for more of it. Others because they haven’t taught it to serve them allow and accept debt into their lives and work, not for purpose or interest or satisfaction but simply to pay off debt. They are servants!
So a decision must be made to learn how to teach money to serve us and our family. It will take resolve and boldness and strategy but once such a journey is embarked upon expect change. A single minded purpose to require money to serve us will I believe be the game breaker for the future. We will become the head and not the tail and we will prosper. In future discussions together we will discuss how to do just that.