By Joel Iyorwa
Jesus never minced words when he said, “No man can serve two masters,” and He also made it clear that the second master is ‘mammon’ which is money and the greed for it personified.
The choice is before each of us to make. The pursuit of God and money go separate ways and if we are on one path, we cannot end up on the other.
Service demands great loyalty of passions and love and attention. But we only have enough as human beings to devote to one cause at a time.
That’s why even one man cannot truly fall in love with two women at the same time; it has to be mere infatuation and lust.
Jesus categorically stated, “You CANNOT serve two masters.” There is no going around that.
Now, that’s why money is satan’s perfect surrogate. It demands loyalty, affection, passion, and commitment in proportions that are only suitable for God.
Many are in servitude to it (mammon) without realizing it. If you refuse to give money all the attention and affection it demands, then the consequence is often lack.
But serving money only takes away lack to replace it with greed, a constant demand for more and more, thus providing a rationale for greater servitude to it. Let me now point out two critical characteristics of money-service:
1. When the end-goal is money.
2. When the motivation is self.
First of all, all servants of money have money as their ultimate goal. They study that course in the university because they want to make money and be rich.
They live in that city only because that is where they can make the most money. They are on that job or career simply because it gives them the best pay check. They are married to that spouse because it is part of financial success plan.
Everything such a person does boils down to money, and more money. They cannot do anything that jeopardizes or limits their capacity to be financially stable.
Secondly, ‘self’ is at the epicentre of the world of those who serve mammon. You can find out how they spend the money they make.
A look at the budget and expenditure lists of any average church folks today reveals a very disturbing reality. When the pay check comes in, when the salary alert comes in ‘self’ usurps control. A bigger car, a new house, an exciting vacation abroad, and on and on it goes.
A man who has earned money by serving it does not really want to ask “how does God want me to spend this money?” If he did, the controller would be God and not self. There would be a massive overhaul of the expenditure list and budget.
If God and not money was the object of our affection and passion, we would not be spending money the way we do a lot of the times.
With serving God, money reverses to a mere means and not an end. A man who is serving the Lord makes money as a tool for kingdom service. He is not looking for money or earning a living just to have and be comfortable. He is seeking first the Kingdom (Matt 6:33). His income has a bearing on God’s kingdom purposes.
As disciples of Jesus, we need to put ourselves to the test. We need to ask the Lord to reveal what is in our hearts in relation to money.
Until the hold of money is broken over a life, that life cannot truly serve God. He cannot because his plumb line for measuring worthiness is “How much money do I have?” But when the hold of money is broken, the plumb line becomes literally “the Glory of God in the earth.”
To conclude, let me quickly state here before I am misunderstood, that serving God does not begin or end with full-time Christian ministry. In fact there are many today who are in some form of full-time Christian ministry but are in reality serving mammon.
Full time business men and women, bureaucrats, politicians, and artisans can and indeed are all called to serve God in those professions, making money but seeking the glory of God in the earth. The money they make empowers their service to God, not necessarily their pockets.
On which side of this divide are you? God’s or Mammon’s?