December 1, 2011

For the Love of Money: Matthew 6:24

Photo c/o:Shutterbug81

"You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both."
- Matthew 6:24, The Message Bible

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
- Matthew 6:24, The King James Version

I felt it necessary to give two versions of this text. I always like the Message translation and how literal it gets but I also wanted to hear from the King James.

I believe we can worship God by being generous with some of the following tools:
  • Time- We spend time with God through prayer, reading our Bibles, devotion...
  • Talents- Using our talents and spiritual gifts (singing, encouragement, hospitality) with His children
  • Money- Returning a faithful tithe and offering, giving to the less fortunate.
I believe we can worship money by generous with some of the following tools:
  • Time- We develop an unhealthy obsession of crafting plans to get more money.
  • Talents- We devise ways to exploit our talents to get more money. 
  • Money- We become hoarders of money who totally ignore those who are in dire need.  
Our society is all about materialism. When I think of the rapper 50 Cent, I think of the slogan he used. He encouraged his fans to get rich or die trying. Money is easily seen as the god in this instance. However, what about success? For a lot of people, success is equated with lots of money. Some may deny it but it's true. You're not just being successful to be successful. You want the fruits of what you consider success and oftentimes, the main fruit is money. There's nothing wrong with wanting success or even wanting money but when it becomes the thing you put before God, then you have a problem.  I can't tell you how many motivational videos I've seen where, on the surface, they look and sound great. However, don't be deceived. There is a danger with some of the videos and the mindset of "success" obsession that's encouraged.

My problem is that I've seen quite a few motivational videos that encourage a lack of sleep. When you're trying to motivate people to live the life they've dreamed of, violating health principles shouldn't be a part of the mix. Our bodies need sleep. You can still be successful and get to sleep at night. Granted, some nights may be filled with more sleep than others. However, this whole "I don't sleep and that's why I'm successful" business is beyond me. It's another way of creating an idol of success. When there is lack of sleep, there is lack of judgement. How can you possibly think straight? God isn't glorified in that. I welcome someone to prove me wrong on this one...really. I love the hustle. I think it's beautiful to see people work hard and achieve their dreams. I am doing that myself. However, I have seen too many people be successful in their own right and get plenty of sleep to know that the "no sleep" logic is off. With that being said, what I've said unfortunately doesn't apply with the entertainment industry.  It seems as if that industry is built for people not to sleep. I don't agree with it but that's the only industry that I can honestly say that in order for you to be the average standard of "success", you're not getting any sleep.I could be wrong and/or you could be the pioneer in the industry that gets sleep. I pray it's the latter.

 One of my close friends in college is one of the smartest people I know. She was 2nd in our graduating class. She was a Finance major with a minor in Spanish. During our senior year, she was in leadership roles, had a part-time tutoring gig, carried a full class load, was planning her wedding, studying for the LSATs and applying to law schools. How and when did she get sleep you ask? She would go to bed early (think 8pm) and wake up early in the morning (think 4-6 am). She always said that her mind was most clear and able to comprehend more in the morning. Her dedication to God and hard work paid off but she didn't have to sacrifice her sleep to miss out on her own success. Understand that the sleep conversation was to point back to success and money. They're all connected.

The reason why a lot of us love money so much is because we look at it to solve our problems. I am guilty of this. When I look at each issue I have, I feel like the solution is money. Even as I type this, I'm being rebuked. God is the solution. God can work out situations in ways that money can't. He doesn't need money to bless us. A friend once reminded me to stop looking at my issues as problems that would never be able to be solved simply because of my lack of money. I'm looking at the wrong thing to fix the equation. After I've done all I can do in His strength, I need to leave it to God. He knows our needs. He answers prayers. 

Money cannot save us. If we put money in the position to save us, we will be lost. 


1 comment:

  1. "Money cannot save us. If we put money in the position to save us, we will be lost"