Matthew 6:24 – “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.” NKJV
The Aramaic word rendered mammon means: confidence, wealth or avarice. Most people make it exclusively money but it goes far beyond just wealth or material goods it reaches into the psyche and heart and is descriptive of where your confidence lies. Jesus is making it crystal clear that it is not just difficult to serve two masters it is not possible. A master demands loyalty and an undivided heart. James addresses this as he speaks of a ‘double-minded’ person being tossed about by differing winds and circumstances. It is a matter of what or whom holds our confidence.
I’ve been told that faith in God is nothing but ‘blind allegiance’ and that surely God helps those who help themselves. I do believe that God helps those who labor to better themselves, provide for their families and fulfill their obligations and duties in life. I do believe that God ascribes to the philosophy that the apostle Paul set forth when he said, “if a man will not work he should not eat” and that one who ‘does not provide’ for their own is worse than an infidel. In that sense industriousness and investing time and effort into material, social, mental and spiritual progress is a worthwhile objective and commendable. However, if our confidence and trust lies in that which we have amassed, learned, planned, schemed or developed above God it is MAMMON and a hindrance in our spiritual development and life.
If we develop an overriding love and trust in the security of our money, position, education or anything that equals our devotion to God and becomes our master it hinders our spiritual walk. God is to be Master in our lives. He is not a cruel taskmaster as we find in human masters but a loving Lord who has our best good at the forefront of His Lordship. He demands our loyalty and will share His glory with nothing and no one.
Through the years I have encountered numerous people who charted a course for material success and would allow nothing and no one to infringe upon their pursuit. Their spiritual life, social life, family life, community life took a secondary position to their driving passion to SUCCEED. Some of them lost everything that most hold dear in their pursuit and climb to the pinnacle of material success and while they secured a very secure future for themselves and their heirs materially they were destitute spiritually. They began trying to serve two masters and ultimately found that they could only serve one and their passion to achieve what they believed to be security overshadowed everything else including God. They would argue vehemently that they were devout Christians and yet that which held their confidence was not God but that which they had produced with their own hands. Mammon won, family, friends, church and God lost out in their lives or should I say they lost family, friends, church and God.
I would never suggest adopting a lazy approach to life or being haphazard in your preparation for the years upon earth but I would suggest that God must be above all at all times. If we SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness He will provide. He will open the doors, bring to light the opportunities and enable us to achieve that which is needed and should we not have the material success we hoped he will send ravens if necessary to bring that which is needed. But, He MUST be LORD OF ALL.
Service is truly based on trust and we serve that which holds our hearts! It is my genuine prayer and desire that each of us allow God to be NUMBER ONE in all things in our lives and reject all else that would divide our allegiance. May God be with you as you go through this day!