Are you cringing yet? I said the word, "money". Yep, right there in the title. We're going there. We're going there because I've worried about how much I've had or how little I've had and even how much other people would "assume" I had. My worry eventually got even more worried and I began to sniff out judgement before it even arrived on my doorstep. We're going there because I'd bet this very house I'm sitting in that money sometimes bothers you too.
I sat with a friend over lunch a while back. She described this amazing trip she took overseas with her husband. I ooo'd and ahh'd with her over the details. I pictured myself there right next to her, gazing out of her balcony to the ocean and feeling very sophisticated. I was ecstatic for them. They're hardworking and incredibly generous with their time and resources in the community.
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!
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
Want to know more about what the Bible says about money?
Check out the Blessed Life Devotional at Gateway Devotions.
Photo Credit: Anthony Delanoix
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.