“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)
In other words, you have to decide. Is the first thing in your life pleasing God or making money? At some point, these two things will come into conflict.
Somewhere along the line, God will put you in a situation where you have an opportunity of making money, and all it will take is for you to find a way round something God has said.
When that happens you will find yourself torn apart, and then you will let go of one or the other. You will let go of the money for God, or you will let go of God for the money. The New Testament makes it clear that the great stumbling block in Balaam’s life was money:
- Jude talks about false teachers who rush for gain into “Balaam’s error” (Jude 11).
- Peter also tells us “Balaam loved gain from wrongdoing” (2 Pet. 2:15).
Balaam’s problem was very simple – he couldn’t let go of the money. When he discovers that there is big money in a different message, everything in him is drawn in that direction.
Listen again to Jesus’ words: “You cannot serve God and money.” He doesn’t say, “You cannot have God and money.” But he does say, “You cannot serve God and money.”
This is not just an issue for the big-money people. It is important for all of us who are scratching around trying to make ends meet. When you see a way of making money at the cost of your integrity, remember Balaam.
Are you practicing integrity in your dealings with money?