Choosing Between Money and God

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Yesterday, we went to mass at the nearby Catholic Church…the poor priest had an uphill slog. The Bible reading was about money. “A man cannot serve two masters,” he quoted the Nazarene. Clearly, there is a choice to be made. But put the question to a random group of Americans, French, or English…in 2007…we’re not sure which way it will go.

The poor parish priest made a good try. He began by explaining what he was up against:

“This is a difficult passage for us, of course. Here we have Christ telling the story of an overseer who is about to be fired by his master. Seeing that he will need a little support from someone, he goes to people who owe his master money. He makes deals with them, reducing what they owe to the master so that they will owe the overseer a favour. In effect, he is cheating his own master.

“But Christ goes on to say that ‘you can’t serve two masters;’ you can serve God, or you can serve money. Not both.

“We don’t quite understand why Christ seems to approve of cheating the master out of what was rightfully his. It poses a problem for us, because we think cheating is wrong. But Christ often poses very difficult situations…forcing us to think deeply about what our duty to God (as opposed to our duty to our fellow man, and money) really is. This story requires us to recognise that the deals made by men, deals involving wealth, power, and money…are always less important than the deals we make with God.

“The overseer was being fired…we can imagine that he had died, in order to understand this better. After he has left his earthly master’s employment, he has to face a new master, God himself. And that is the relationship that counts. He has to think of THAT master…of THAT obligation…even to the point of doing things that seem to us not to be quite right. The master that must be served is the one that is waiting for you after he leaves his current situation…which, of course, is our life on this Earth.”

It was the best a priest could do.

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning Australia

Do you believe it’s possible to serve money and God? Have you had to choose between one and the other? Leave a message below.

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
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Comments

  1. An excellent answer. Jesus did praise the manager for his shrewdness (which some people find strange) but, as you correctly point out, the manager still had the authority to manage the money on behalf of the master.
    The people of this world may be shrewd but God has not called his followers to follow the ways of the world. The TRUE riches are contained in the Lord’s inheritance for his disciples!

    Geoff Russell (Tasmania)
    September 26, 2007
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  2. I disagree with the priest. If you read the text carefully, Christ did not commend the shrewd manager. Instead, the praise came from his own boss(master), who himself was no doubt also a shrewd man and therefore had recognise this “genius” that this steward had.
    Christ was merely pointing out that the “sons of light” are not as shrewd as the other worldly people, however, they as stewards for the Lord should at least know how to use what is entrusted to them by God for eternal purposes. i.e use money wisely to further God’s work and for things that have eternal value.

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  3. I like the quote that says:

    “I realise that I do not own anything on this Earth, I am merely its temporary custodian, and that teaches me humility.

    I got that quote off one of my mentors who I learn stuff off. It sure does put things into perspective huh? Everything you own you are really only minding it for a bit till you die. Then somebody else will own it. Like, the house you own now, as if you are still going to own it in 150 years, and the money you own now? Well, in 100 years you won’t own it any more either.

    Also, there’s a great book that I bought recently off Amazon , it’s from America, and it’s called “Becoming a millionaire Gods way” by Dr. C. Thomas Anderson. The forward in it is written by Robert Kiyosaki. Its the best.

    Amyway, I had been worrying about this same issue for ages, so I asked the same question to about 10 different priests and pastors, and they all said the same thing- the bible says not to worship money ahead of God, and that it is just a means to an end- not something to be worshipped. It doesnt say you shouldn’t have it, just that you should put God ahead of all else in the universe. Poor people say you can’t serve 2 masters- I reckon people who go out to work 15 hours a day are the ones serving money- after all, they spend most of their waking time worrying about it. Time that could be spent praying and helping others- so who is really serving money and not God?

    Anyway, if you want to ask the preists yourself any questions, go to http://www.allexperts.com. Its a great website I found where you can ask any question to experts, about any subject in the world for free. They are real experts and real live human beings. Just look under the religion heading and go to the priests etc there.

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