Does this mean we have to choose one, or that we cannot love both God and money? This is is a question I have had for a long time.
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In my opinion, Jesus was not saying that it is wrong for a person to pursue or acquire wealth. However, in the process of doing so, as well as in the use that the person makes of that wealth once it is acquired, there will come temptations to develop attitudes and take actions that displace God from His rightful position as the ruler of that person's life, and make the accrual and retention of wealth the person's primary objective, rather than service to God as the ultimate provider of that wealth. This can then manifest itself in attributes and actions such as covetousness, avarice, or taking unfair advantage of others, rather than in consideration of the money as being a tool that God has mercifully provided for use in the furthering of His kingdom and in benefiting others. Paul was making the same point when he said that love of money (not money itself, as he is often misquoted as saying) is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6:10) As Paul noted in the verses immediately preceding, "For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap, and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction." (1 Timothy 6:7-9) In addition, Solomon in the Old Testament recognized the ultimate futility of the consuming desire to accumulate wealth for its own sake, as he noted in Ecclesiastes 2: 18-21, as well as in Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 and Ecclesiastes 6:1-9.
"MAMMON" is derived from the Aramaic term for possessions or wealth. "Master" (Greek Kurios) is a lord or an owner. Matt. 6:24< Jesus is addressing the fact that one cannot be loyal to or serve two masters. He will eventually hate one and love the other; or loyal to one and despise the other. Spiritual double vision causes one to believe he can serve two masters (riches/wealth and God); however, loyalty to God cannot be divided between Him and loyalty to one's material possessions. God claims Lordship or ownership over His own, therefore, Jesus rightly proclaimed, "You cannot serve God and Mammon". Jesus is not condemning money or possessions of themselves, but the proper attitude of enslavement toward wealth.
Jesus says we can have only one master. We live in a materialistic society, where many people serve money. They desire for money, and what it can buy far outweighs their commitment to God, and spiritual matters. Can you honestly say that God, and not money, is your master? One test is to ask yourself, which one occupies more of your thoughts, time, and efforts.
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