I’ll guess you’ve heard the phrase “the love of money is the root of all evil.” And perhaps you’ve also heard this: “No one 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.” These verses are from the Bible and also have made their way into the mainstream. Look at how the love of money is described: the root of evil, and a master mutually exclusive to God. This is serious language. It’s worth some time to think about this. Let’s ask ourselves: Do I love money, and do I serve money? What does it means to serve money?
I was giving a presentation about these verses once and someone asked me that exact question: what does it mean to serve money. I repeated the question for everyone to hear, then paused, all the while asking God to give me an insight because I had never thought about this before. And then I started speaking again. “What is it that money wants? Money only wants more money. Always. It is never satisfied. And it wants you to always want more just like it does.” Maybe this is obvious to you wiser than I, but for me it was a revelation.
What are our motivations for wanting more and more? Security, luxuries, status? Are any of these worldly things worth closing ourselves off to a relationship with God who loves us?
What are people willing to do for the love of money? Lie in business transactions, disregard relationships, cheat friends and strangers alike, steal (even from one’s own family), threaten or even kill. All of these and worse things have been done in servitude to money. It’s a path to disaster. Check out the second half of this verse: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
It’s a slippery slope, for sure. No one sets out to get on this path. One moral/ethical compromise after another and yet another and you’re hooked.
Serving Money is a slap in the face to God. God promises to care for us and make sure we have enough. So when we want more than God has provided, we go over to the other master and say “sign me up.” Ouch.
In our society, loving money is very easy to fall into. We’re constantly bombarded with messages trying to make us unsatisfied. I hope that becoming aware of the temptations and the ramifications will help us to steer clear. Contentment in our present circumstance is key.
Trust God to provide for you. Don’t put your security in money because it won’t stand by you; it has no capacity to care for you; and it has an uncanny tendency to disappear when you think you most need it.
If you remember one thing, let it be this: make sure that you define for yourself a level of money that is enough and stick to it (i.e. don’t let it constantly drift higher). This is your best defense! If you don’t know how much is enough, then you’ll never have enough. Come to think of it, my budget needs updating.
I’ve shared some thoughts, but I’d love to know yours as well. What does it mean to serve money? Experiences/thoughts to share?