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What Is The Straight About Mammon?
by Jerry Ousley
10/27/2017 / Christian Living
I knew a man who passed away a few years ago who I feel had the wrong idea about mammon. I don’t want to speak evil of the departed and I did have a love for this man but he was wrong in the way he handled money.
We were at my parent’s house one day talking about inheritance. This man and his wife were visiting and he happened to be listening in on the conversation that was going on. My view and stand was (and still is) that if it came down to arguing, fighting and fussing over what my parents would leave behind when they were gone, that I’d just walk away from it. I mean that; I’d rather not inherit a thing as to fight and fuss with my siblings about those things Mom and Dad may leave behind. To me, that’s a gross lack of respect and doesn’t reflect our love very well. I’d rather not have anything as to disrespect them.
Anyway, this man heard me saying these words. All my siblings agreed and I was relieved that they did. After a moment the man walked into the room from where he had been and said, “Well I’ll tell you one thing; if I’ve got a dime coming to me I want it!”
He professed to be a Christian. He went to church regularly. But he had a familiarly unique way of separating church and state; he simply thought of finances as business that had nothing to do with serving God.
While I don’t stand in judgment of this man (he had to answer to God for that for himself), I do want to go on record as saying that we can’t leave God out of our finances. I don’t believe all the things being said today by so-called prosperity teachers, but I know that God should be an integral part and a regular partner in our finances.
We need to put together what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:9-11. On one hand Jesus told us that we can’t serve two Masters referring to God and mammon. We can’t. We will wind up being faithful to one and forsaking the other. That’s dangerous because the greater temptation is to forsake God and be faithful to mammon. Riches can indeed be a cruel master. While money is necessary in our lives the old saying that “money isn’t everything,” is very true. We have to have it but we don’t have to serve it. As a matter of fact I’d rather be the poorest of poor rather than to serve mammon instead of God.
Even though Jesus warned us about serving mammon He also told us to make friends with mammon so that when we fail we can still have a place to live (everlasting habitations). In a nut shell Jesus was telling us very simply to know how to handle money and put God first.
In another instance the disciples of Jesus had asked Him if a rich man could make it to Heaven. Jesus answered by saying something like this: “It would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven.” For many years I thought He was referring to a needle you sew with. It is impossible to fit a camel through that little hole.
In fact I can barely get a thread to go through it after a half hour of trying! So I always thought that Jesus was saying that a rich man could not get into Heaven and so reasoned that it was a sin to be rich. But what Jesus was referring to was the low hanging arches over the streets of those ancient cities. A camel passing through town would have to sometimes get down on its knees in order to fit under those arches. They were called needles. So in essence Jesus wasn’t saying that a rich man couldn’t get into Heaven but that it required him to take extra measures to do so. He would have to spend some time on his knees in order to put God first and not yield to the temptation of serving mammon. We’ve got to have money but we don’t have to serve it. Make your master Jesus Christ and listen to Him when it comes to being friends with mammon.
Jerry D. Ousley is the author of ïSoul Challengeï, ïSoul Journeyï, ïOrdealï, ïThe Spirit Bread Daily Devotional and his first novel ïThe Shoe Tree.ï Visit our website at spiritbread.com to download these and more completely free of charge.
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