May 19 - 15, 2008
No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
When Jesus says we cannot serve both God and money in Matthew 6:24, part of this week's lectionary readings, most people draw the wrong conclusion. They believe, then, that it is simply up to us to choose between God and money. (And with hand-wringing they comment just what a tough choice that is!)
But that interpretation is just too easy. Jesus is saying much more. In this case, Jesus uses the term "slave" to describe the relationship. A slave has no choice but to obey.
When you look deeply at people around you, even in the most devout Christian circles, for clues to whether they are slave to God or money, what do you find? Do you see people living happy, fulfilled lives in obedience of Jesus's command to love God with all our being and love our neighbor as ourselves?
Or are they living miserable, tense lives, constantly fretting about money while living in styles way beyond their income in response to the command of money to acquire more, live in bigger houses, drive flashier cars and take lavish vacations, etc., etc.? Why would we choose this kind of misery? Only because we are enslaved to our wealth.
Jesus says we cannot serve both God and wealth. Who is your master?
--Rob Blezard, Editor and Webmaster
(Reprint rights gladly given to congregations for nonprofit use. Just include the following notice: Copyright (c) 2008, the Rev. Robert Blezard, archive.stewardshipoflife.org. Used by permission.)
New This Week:
Stewardship: A Way of Life
“When we recognize that God is the origin of all life, the giver of everything that we have and are, the source of our freedom and giftedness, the healthy person responds by thanking God through prayer, by serving God and God's people through ministry, by sharing our financial resources with those in need.” Thoughtful reading. Click here for “Stewardship: A Way of Life,” by Bishop Robert Morneau of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.
Don’t Worry – Be Faithful
“Like most things in life, happiness is most often a byproduct of dedicated focus and effort. All too often, we humans search for happiness in all the wrong places. We consume to excess, we buy, we eat and drink, and we even try to drug ourselves into a state of contentment.” Click here for “Living Stones,” the latest essay from SOLI columnist Sharron Reissinger Lucas. Click here for archived columns.
Is Your Church Money Savvy?
“Your ministry work may keep you so busy that you don’t pay much attention to your church’s finances. But money is an important part of your church’s work, because without it, none of that work would be possible.” Good premise for this intelligent article. Click here for “Is Your Church Money Savvy?” From Crosswalk.com.