For the Love of Money…

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For many younger people today, their first introduction to the O’Jays group from the 1950’s was the popular theme song for the Apprentice Show with Donald Trump entitled: ‘For the Love of Money’.

The song carried a warning about letting money rule you or fool you and spoke about the many unsavory things that money appears to be able to make people do.

 

 

Money money money money, money (x6)
Some people got to have it
Some people really need it
Listen to me y’all, do things, do things, do bad things with it
You wanna do things, do things, do things, good things with it
Talk about cash money, money
Talk about cash money- dollar bills, yall

For the love of money
People will steal from their mother
For the love of money
People will rob their own brother
For the love of money
People can’t even walk the street
Because they never know who in the world they’re gonna beat
For that lean, mean, mean green
Almighty dollar, money
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Money can be a harsh task master.  Jesus understood this and personified the way in which the love of money could control people.  In Matthew 6:24, the implication is that money is potentially so powerful in its ability to influence and control human beings that we cannot serve both God and Money at the same time.

Mathew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Contrary to what we think and how we try to live our lives, it’s not really possible to have a divided mind.  Ultimately, we choose one thing or the other.

What might it mean to be in the service of money?  And if money is a harsh task master, is there a potential for it to be a dutiful servant?  Let’s take a look at the context of the verse on money with the verse that directly precedes it.

Mathew 6:23″But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

I find it interesting that Jesus talks about darkness just before he goes into a discussion about money.  In verse 23, he talks about the lamp being the eye of the body and that if the eye is dark, the whole body will be dark.  Could He have been pointing to a link between the two areas that we often don’t consciously link together – Spiritual insight and the way this impacts our relationship with money?  Perhaps Jesus is indicating that how we see and use money is related to whether our view of life as a whole is clear and unobstructed.

Growing up, my parents always told me that money was simply a means of exchange.  As I got older, I began to understand that money could be exchanged for a lot of things…goods, services, talents, ideas, physical labor etc.  Money represents to some extent that which is given in exchange for something of value with regards to human potential and productivity.  Because this is an inexact science, there is an inbuilt inequality about the distribution of money in the sense that there is a lot of discretionary judgement that must go into the issue of judging the value of an individual’s contribution.  It is also fraught with the danger of greed and the desire to take advantage of others.  Thus when Jesus speaks about the darkness of the eye one can see that He is right on point.  If our view is darkened, there is no way we can arrive at a right view or valuation of anything.

If we rightly understand that we are Children of God, created by Him and valued by Him in ways that cannot be defined within the narrow perimeters of human judgement and its necessary collary – money, we have the opportunity to enter into another type of freedom.  One which is not tethered to an invalid premisis from the onset.  No longer is self-worth designated by the amount of money that we or anyone makes.  We may now find that Money has the potential to become a Servant, rather than a taskmaster.  Money, when used wisely and with clear perspective can be an agent of good in the service of mankind and creation. But right perspective, insight and wisdom are necessary to provide the right understanding on how to use it rather than be used and ruled by it.

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