Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pursuing the Love of Lack

By Allen White

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24

Adding to Jesus’ teaching on our hearts following our treasure (Matthew 6:19-21) and our eyes following our desires (Matthew 6:22-23), He points out that our allegiance can only lie in one place. We can’t multi-task our devotion.

This is not an indictment against money itself rather Jesus is getting at the heart condition involved. After all “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Money is merely a thing, unless we allow it to become something else.

We can be devoted to God and have money. Allegiance to God doesn’t require poverty, unless our hearts are wrapped around it, as in the case of the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-30). We can even be wealthy and be fully devoted to God, but you can’t be devoted to money and have God
The love of money causes use to despise God. In fact, Jesus says that it causes us to hate God. The love of money is about accumulating and getting more. The love of God is about generosity. The love of money puts material things as the object of our affection. The love of God challenges us to give to those in need (Matthew 25:31-46) and to forward Kingdom causes (Luke 16:9) trusting that God will provide for all of our needs.

Either God will have us or money will have us, but not both. When God is crowded out of the equation, money will become a cruel task master. The love of money should really be called the “love of lack,” because it always demands more with the lure of satisfaction. The secret is that money never satisfies. We weren’t designed to be satisfied by money. We were designed to find satisfaction in God alone.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, Allen is a preacher who has never had real money.” Financially, I’m doing alright, but I’m not loaded. So, don’t take my word for it. Listen to the wealthiest man who ever lived, King Solomon.

Solomon’s wealth compared to that of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett would have Bill and Warren on food stamps in Solomon’s day. There was nothing out of his reach. Yet, at the end of his life Solomon concluded:

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). We might be drawn to the idea of becoming dissatisfied at that level, but we too would find wealth meaningless.

Who does your heart belong to? Your treasure, your purpose, and your devotion are all key indicators of your heart’s condition. It’s easy to think that you can compartmentalize on this. God goes in the Sunday box and the emergency box. Work and wealth take up much of the other space. This thinking is flawed.

Why ignore the One who allows you to get the most out of life? Why pursue something that has no possibility of fulfilling you? But, how do you know that this is really true? You have to believe that Jesus knows what He is talking about. What’s your life worth – devotion to God who loves you or devotion to the pursuit of more that will never satisfy?
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