Biblical Generosity, Part 2: God or Money?

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You cannot serve God and money.
— Matthew 6:24

You cannot get more straightforward than these words from Jesus. God or money, which will you serve?

The assumption is that we are serving something, and indeed we are. We like to tell ourselves that we are our own autonomous masters, but in reality we are servants to a master, and our master is that which owns our heart. The other assumption is that you cannot have two masters, and indeed we can’t. The very definition of a master is something that holds ultimate sway, that which is uppermost in our heart.

And truth be told, for most people that master is money. There is something unique about money in that it can provide for you almost anything this world has to offer. Power, fame, luxury, pleasure, whatever it is, money can give it. This is why money is man’s most popular master, and why Jesus singles it out more than anything else.

So what are you serving, God or money? That answer has nothing to do with how much money you have. I’ve known poor people living with money as their master, and I’ve known rich people living with God as their master. So how can we discern if it’s God or money for us? Our giving will tell us. When push comes to shove, those serving money are willing to give up God’s will for the sake of their master money, and those serving God are willing to give up money for the sake of their master God.

So which is it for you? There is a lot at stake in how you answer that question.

The Bible cautions us that every other master, in the end, will prove to be a cruel master, and this is certainly true for money. The lordship of money is a malicious lordship that enslaves and ruins all who serve it. But the lordship of God leads to life, joy, and peace.

Speaking very candidly, I have met a lot people living in service to money, and they are all, at least in the end, miserable. I have also met a lot of people living in service to God, and they are all, at least in the end, happy. 

God or money?  You can’t serve them both. One master enslaves, the other sets you free. Choose wisely.

- Rev. Robert Cunningham