Luke 16:13-14 (NIV) “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
This saying of Jesus was clearly aimed directly at the Pharisees, about whom Luke tells us that they loved money. As usual, they simply sneered in response.
But Jesus’ point was and is critical for those who want to be part of the kingdom of God. 1 Timothy 6:10 does not say that money is a root of all kinds of evil, but that love of money is. Love of money will cause people to turn a blind eye to social injustice, or to pervert justice, so as to enable themselves to gain. It can open the door to bribery and graft, and sway people away from the ways of God’s kingdom. Love of money even moved Judas to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:15).
For those who are drawn to money and to the “stuff” of this world, money can and will quickly move from being a servant to being a master, drawing one’s heart and mind away from God and His agenda, and focusing our hearts and minds on the money and how to get more. And it really is impossible to ably serve more than one master in our lives. One will ALWAYS come out on top, making the other not a master, but subservient to the one that is the real master.
In a conflict in a persons heart over the supremacy of God or money, money, if allowed to gain a toehold, will nearly always win. Part of that is because love of money engages the lowest parts of the flesh, those that are the hardest to break. And money also provides immediate, if short-lived, gratification, while God slowly molds and shapes one’s character from the inside out. Of the two, money has by far the stronger draw on the carnal nature.
Money is a useful tool, and can accomplish some good things if it is used properly. But if it allowed to step over the line into mastery in one’s life, it will quickly usurp all other authority to itself, and put a person on the downward slope to spiritual ruin.
Father, we usually think of money, wealth, as amoral. And the paper and metal is. But there is a spiritual dimension to wealth that is easy for us to overlook, and that spiritual dimension, if we allow it to run free, will ruin us! Help me, Lord, to keep my use of resources within proper bounds. Help me to keep my use of money under Your lordship, so that You are glorified, even in this. Amen.