Choosing Between Money and God

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
Markets and Money

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

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.
Bill Bonner

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3 Comments on "Choosing Between Money and God"

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Geoff Russell (Tasmania)
Geoff Russell (Tasmania)

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!

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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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