Reflection: Leaving Money and Cleaving to the Master

My childhood friend and and college roommate, Todd, got married the summer he graduated.  As his best man, I got an inside peek behind the scenes.  And one scene stands out in 3-D clarity from that weekend.  The rehearsal, groom’s dinner, wedding ceremony and reception were over.  Todd and his bride, Cindy, and their two sets of parents were in a side room off the reception hall.  It was time to head off with his bride.  Past time.  In fact, way past time, and Todd had a problem.  A BIG problem.  Leaving his mother.  His beloved mother.  The mother that had nursed him and pampered him and made sure he had his cold cranberry juice cocktail poured and sitting alongside his hot bacon and eggs every single morning since he could remember.  In Hollywood fashion, he hugged her, and held her, then hugged her again, then walked toward his new wife, then looked at his teary-eyed mother and walked over and held her again.

I literally had to pull him away.

Can we have money and Jesus? A Christian view of money and wealth

I think this is what Jesus meant when he taught his apprentices, “No one can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and wealth.”  We, like Todd, have to make a choice.  Knowing how hard it is to appropriately let go of Momma, Genesis 2:tells a groom, “Leave (in the Hebrew it means ‘abandon, forsake’)your father and mother and cleave (in the Hebrew it means to be glued together) to your wife.”  And knowing how hard it is to appropriately abandon or forsake our long-term loyalty to money after trusting in it for so long to meet every need and most of our wants, Jesus in Matthew 6 tell us, ‘You can’t serve both money and God.”  According to Jesus, money and the security and stuff that rolls out of it  has to take second place – and a distant second at that – in order for us to cultivate an ongoing primary covenant with Jesus.  If momma money comes first, we break the First Commandment [Exodus 20:3, also see Colossians 3:5).  Our intimacy with our Savior is broken and our soul is damaged.

It is no accident that Jesus used the metaphor that His apprentices that make up the Church, are joined to him like Todd was to Cindy.  We have to make a choice between clinging to Momma Money or walking through a new door with Jesus our Master.

The Bible speak so often of this issue because so many of us have a problem.  A BIG problem.

And frankly, many of us need a beloved friend to literally help pull us toward the door.

Your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “Reflection: Leaving Money and Cleaving to the Master”

  1. The Bible has a lot to say about money (mammon) but I’d like to add a plug for a great book I just read….CONSUMER DETOX by Mark Powley. It will get you thinking and wondering about how to change directions. I am getting the feeling it’s going to require an “about face!”

  2. This is a little late but finally got around to checking the blog out…. hopefully others are in the same boat as I am and just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Anyways, I was thinking the other day about money. It went something along the lines of what money means. In and of itself it has no value, it isn’t intrinsically good or bad. But what money does possess for most in our world, not all but most, is power. I was thinking of all the silly shows about what people would do for money. Or all these reality “game” shows where people do all sorts of crazy stunts or “survival” to win a million dollars. I realized that if you have money or enough money or what have you, you could probably get or make someone do anything you wanted. You could go up to a random person on the street and if you offered enough money, you could probably get them to do just about anything. That is kind of a scary thing, but it is also perhaps insightful into why so many people are addicted to or obsessed with money. Because to most, money whether they have thought it out or not equates to power. Now it gets a lot more complicated after that as to people’s motivations for power. Many just want the power of freedom, to be beholding to no one and others have more malicious desires for power. The rabit trail then led towards Christians response or attitude towards power/money. With money, we have a certain amount of power to do good and to advance the Kingdom. So I started to conclude that money is nothing in and of itself and I kind of doubt Jesus cares much about how much we make or how we do or don’t pursue money (to an extent) but what money does reflect upon are our choices and priorities. Christians reveal their heart status and their priorities and even their character by what they do with money. How much someone pursues money and why is what I believe Jesus is looking at. You can be either rich or poor and still be obedient or disobedient in this area. God may choose to materially bless someone and they raise their open palms in thanksgiving and offer freely to those in need and to the church. He may also bring someone into meager circumstances and they also open their empty palms to Him in thanksgiving and offer freely of what little they have to those in need. The rich can also selfishly horde what he has and strive to horde more turning a blind or even spiteful eye to others in need and think they have “earned” what they have by their own accomplishment. The poor man may also in pride seek to be attached to nothing and no one as certain philosphers of old did and even revel in their immaterial existence. So to wrap it up, my thoughts came down to, money not being really of any consequence whether we have a lot, a little, or in the middle but that it provides an opportunity to demonstrate what is in our heart and the opportunity to make all sorts of decisions in regards to it.

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