The Sermon on the Mount

Day 19: God and Possessions

Matthew 6:19-24, Proverbs 28:22, Luke 12:13-21, Ephesians 5:5, 1 Timothy 6:17-19

 

One of the pillars of the progressive mindset these days is a commitment to avoiding what is known as dualistic thinking. The “either/or” mentality is old fashioned, if not backward. The wiser way to see the world today is with “both/and” eyes. Now, there are some instances where this is an improvement in the ways we relate to one another. The more we age and learn, the more we realize how complex things often are. What we once thought simple is anything but. We grow to become men, and we put away childish things.

However, we must be careful not to also put away the childlike, one example of that being a wholehearted trust in God’s Word and allowing it to say what it says. And what our texts for today say is that when it comes to loving God and loving money, the dualistic mindset is nothing less than bankrupt. You can’t love both. It is very much an “either/or” scenario.

When I think of today’s verses I am always shuttled back in my memory to a country song from my childhood: “Trying to Love Two Women.” The Oak Ridge Boys lightheartedly liken the effort to wearing a ball and chain, that while no doubt such an arrangement might be exciting at first, the truth of the matter is that such a duality quickly becomes a “grind.” One of my favorite lines in the song says, “A man can’t stock two shelves.”

Memorable, huh? I love that. Yes, I have tried to put away a number of childish things as I’ve grown to be a man, but those things do not include my father’s music.

In a quite non-progressive, rather old fashioned, maybe even backward way, that’s what God’s Word is saying in Matthew 6:24:

“No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Now to be mature, we must take note that it’s not money that’s the problem here, but the love of money. One contemporary Bible translation refuses to beat around the bush and just uses the word “worship.” Memorable, huh? There is only One worthy of our worship and that is God the good Father. Trying to serve two masters, as the Oak Ridge Boys would say, is a “long old grind, and it tires your mind.”  

Written by John Blase