Matthew 6:24 (NIV)
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
This is such a powerful scripture. I like to think most of you reading this have an idea of what this scripture is talking about. I know I have personally heard this scripture be broken down in a sermon. For those of you who don’t know what this scripture is saying, I pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal to you it’s meaning. Meanwhile, I will tell you my personal take on it.
Everyone knows a workaholic, am I right? Someone who works as much as possible and puts everything else last. A workaholic will put his/her health, family, and responsibilities all last just to gain more money. I am not trying to offend anyone with the word workaholic or the specifics of my message, I am only trying to share a message. There are some people who get their fulfillment from getting promotions, working extra hours, and giving their all to their job to be a perfect employee. I do understand that in life, everyone’s goal is to advance and progress. The problem is we often confuse worldly success with the success in the kingdom. Worldly success is instantly gratifying, but the momentary satisfaction doesn’t last long. It wears off rather quickly, then you are stuck with the feeling- okay, what now? Next thing you know, you are a slave to money, and it becomes your master.
I am in no way saying that God wants you to be poor. I am simply saying it is wrong to love money. God said in Genesis that as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin man would have to work all the days of our life. It is clear that God wants us to work, but there has to be a distinction between who we are serving. Have you heard the saying, “we need to eat to live, not live to eat.”? This message reminds me of that. We work because we have responsibilities, not work to gain riches and temporal possessions.
This verse says that you can not serve both God and money. You will choose to serve one and despise the other.
Luke 12:15 (NIV)
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
I wanted to share a tidbit of the circumstances that inspired me to write about this topic. I have been having some financial struggles. (Aren’t we all?) Well I had been really depending on a credit card to get by, and living from paycheck to paycheck. Well, I was thinking I was being extra careful and smart with my finances, considering my current circumstances. I would check my account daily, keeping up with my balance so that I would know what I could spend.
I went to go make a purchase and my card was declined! First of all, how embarrassing is that? Second, I am thinking there is no way, so I tell them to try it again. They try it several times and say, “Ma’am, it isn’t working. Are you sure this is the right card?”. I get on my phone and check my account, and sure enough I was right. I indeed had the credit to cover the purchase I was trying to make. The manager comes and ask if she can see my phone and make sure that it says I have the credit. She said maybe the issue was on their end. She looks at my phone and overrides the decline. I am still in panic mode because, I feel in my gut that the machine wasn’t wrong. I go sit down and start to “investigate” what went wrong. I am searching and looking at every detail on my bank app, then I see it. I had been reading my “remaining statement balance” as the amount of credit I had available. (You can laugh.) I see this option to “show details”, and I get scared. Sure enough, there is a section that says “available credit”, and it was indeed lower than the purchase amount. I was just dumbfounded all afternoon about the whole situation.
Proverbs 1:5-6 (NIV)
let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
This isn’t the first time that I have made a mistake in my journey of adulthood, and it will not be the last. Although I have learned to spend less time panicking and beating myself up over it. Instead of wasting time doing what the devil wants me to do, which is stay beat down and defeated. I have been trying to make it a habit to quickly tell myself, “It’s okay, it is done, now let’s see what happened and learn from this”. This habit has been saving me a lot of distress (Ha). I have three lessons from this fun incident. First lesson, be smart with your money- do not just make impulsive purchases. We are told to be wise with our money and be responsible with what we currently have. Second lesson, be more aware and pay attention to details of things in your everyday life. We are told countless time to be aware, alert, and not to just to go about with no direction. Last and most important lesson is- that is it okay! The situation or mistake is not permanent. I felt like God giggled at me while this whole credit card situation was going on. Why? I was panicking over something that was so trivial to Him.
Matthew 6:25-33 (NIV)
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
It may seem like I went in two different directions, but I think it all ties in together. I want to encourage you to take a look at yourself. Are you a workaholic? Are you a shopaholic? Maybe you are wealthy, and you make purchases that you know you shouldn’t. Do you work really hard and “treat yourself” because you deserve it? The bible says many things about money and how to handle it. I am in no way trying to condemn, simply trying to get you thinking about things. Are you tithing to your church on Sundays? You do know you can never “out give” God. You will never give to furthering the Kingdom and be left in poverty. We are so quick to not want to tithe or give, because we need that money. The truth if you are living in Gods’ will, you lack no good thing. I want to encourage you, loosen your grip on temporal possessions that you won’t be bringing with you into eternity. I hope everyone received a blessing from this message.