And then out of her mouth, came the apology. "We never would've gone on a trip like that on our own. We had help paying for it."
You see, they were in ministry. I sensed very clearly that she'd experienced judgement at some point. She unconsciously needed to assure me that it was a gift and not a "selfish, pleasure-seeking" voyage, as if people who devote their lives to God shouldn't vacation. I understood. I've stuttered, shuffled my feet, and apologized for my own blessings all too many times.
Robert Morris explains, "'Mammon' is an Aramaic word that essentially means 'riches'. At its heart there’s an attitude that says: Man doesn’t need God—we’re self-sufficient. This is what the spirit of mammon tries to tell us: 'You don’t need God. Trust in riches!'"
The spirit of mammon is a tricky one. It spreads a conundrum of lies about our resources, "You've got too much, people will think you're all about money. Hide it", "You can't even pay your own bills. You have nothing to offer anyone," "You'll never be as 'successful' as she is. Give up."
When we yield to the spirit of mammon instead the Spirit of God, everybody else will always have too much and we'll never have enough, regardless of how blessed we actually are. The enemy will use insecurity to dry up our rivers of generosity. The riches that once flowed into the storehouse will become dusty and useless. Stagnant.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow?
Blessings flow through our churches, absolutely, but they first flow into our own homes and then right back out again. To slow or stop the cascade is only to succumb to the fear planted by mammon...that the blessings aren't enough, that they're too much, or that they'll stop coming altogether.
So don't be afraid. Do you have a car? Give somebody a ride. Do you have a home? Fill it with visitors. Do you have a phone? Call somebody who needs a kind word. We all have something to give and it doesn't require a huge bank roll. And for those of us who worry about having "much", indeed, to whom much is given, much is expected. The thrill of big faith is big generosity. Let's give it a shot!
- Have you ever been paralyzed by fear of judgement?
- Have you felt guilty that you have "more" than somebody else?
- How about jealousy for not having "as much"?
- How did God help you to overcome those thoughts? How might He if you're still working on it?
Check out the Blessed Life Devotional at Gateway Devotions.
Photo Credit: Anthony Delanoix