Best of Daily Reflections: You Cannot Serve Both God and Money
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
Few passages in Scripture create more discomfort for American Christians than this one. It makes us squirm as we try to find a way to escape its implications. The reason for our uneasiness is pretty obvious. We want to serve God, but we also like money. We like what money does for us, how it makes our lives more convenient, more interesting, more comfortable, more controllable.
You don’t have to have a lot of money to be its servant. In fact, sometimes those without much money are in bondage to it when their lives are focused on acquiring more of it. Whether we are rich or poor, we can easily live in servitude to money.
Most Christians I know try, at least to an extent, to serve two masters, both God and money. I know I do this at times. And I know I’m not alone. If this is not something you struggle with, then thanks be to God! But, chances are you know how it feels to want to serve money and God at the same time.
For example, how much time do you spend worrying about money? How often do you buy something you don’t need because it will make you look or feel good? Do you ever turn down an opportunity to give money away, even though, deep inside, you know it’s something you should have done? Are you faithful in your financial support for your local church? Do you give away money freely and joyfully? Do the ways you make and spend money sometimes keep you from a deeper relationship with God?
Jesus came to set the captives free, including those of us who struggle with captivity to money and its corrupting power. If we recognize that we are trying to serve two masters, at least sometimes, we can begin to experience the freedom of Jesus by confessing to him and asking for his help. The more we receive his grace, the more we will be free to serve God with all that we are.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Do you ever find yourself trying to serve two masters? When? In what ways do you sense a tension between your commitment to God and your love for money and its benefits? How has Christ set you free from the power of money?
PRAYER: Gracious Lord, you know how I struggle with serving you and money at the same time. It isn’t just that I want more money. My service to money often comes in the form of my personal priorities or in how much I can worry about money. I claim to trust you with all of my life. Yet I find myself fretting about money, as if this were something that evaded your lordship.
Help me, dear Lord, to serve you fully and freely. Let nothing else take first place in my devotion. Let no other master direct my life. May you be honored and glorified in every aspect of my life. Amen.