Given the current economic climate everyone has something to say about money but Christians need to be clear about what Jesus has to say about it.
Jesus said “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" Matt 6v24.
If we know who we serve then we can know what we can expect.
Money as our Master. Money itself is morally neutral but the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Money can become the functional God in our lives even if we say we love Jesus. Money will define our values, sense of security, motivation and our identity. If Money is your master then your primary sense of security is in savings, pensions, equity, earning potential, inheritance or financial stability.
If Money is your master, your mind keeps turning to Money issues because slaves have to keep showing up to their masters. Money is a terrible master, not least because it is a false God. You can put Money in the place of Jesus but it is infinitely inferior to Him. Money has a bad habit of falling on its face just when you need it most (like Dagon in 1Sam5). If Money is your master then your finances will most likely be without control, restraint or accountability – we don’t control our God.
Jesus as our Master. What does being devoted to Jesus look like with our finances? Can we endeavour to earn more Money? Yes, faithfully. Can we trade up on our house? Yes, thoughtfully. Can we save & budget & plan for our futures? Yes, diligently. Can we live below our means and meet the needs of others? Yes, joyfully. Can we enjoy our Money? Yes, with thanksgiving. Will we be blessed financially? Maybe, no guarantees. Will we be rich in God’s eyes and receive a great reward? Yes, by God’s grace!
Jesus told a story (Matt 25) about a man who went on a long journey but entrusted his servants with his house & assets. The master returned and asked for an account of the resources entrusted to them. Like them we also will have to give an account to God how we stewarded His Money.
If we are devoted to Jesus we need to be constantly re-evaluating our spending: What do our spending patterns show us about our hearts? What changes do we need to make? Is God asking us to do things differently? Are we consuming wealth or stewarding wealth?
In summary. Jesus has drawn a line in sand and asks “Who’s your daddy?” On one side of the line is ‘Daddy in the dust’. Those who stand here have Mammon as their daddy. But Mammon, like the false God Dagon, has fallen over and his followers are having to figure out how they can haul him back up again. Those on this side are devoted to a false, unreliable, ‘functional God’ (infinitely inferior to Jesus), who will let them down.
On the other side of the line towers Jesus. Those on this side of the line are devoted to serve him and that includes their Money. Here they are reminded and alerted to the dangers of switching allegiance to the false God of Money. Here, they know ‘their Money’ is ‘His Money’ and they desire is to steward it well for the everlasting father of Isaiah 9; to store up treasure in heaven as He instructed.
Jesus said you can’t stand on both sides of the line ... so who's your daddy?