“No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon”, Mat.6:24

The Lord Jesus spoke these words – and He put them into a context which we should never disregard, not the context, neither the words. There are Verses in the Bible Jesus Himself took out of context applying them either to Himself, His circumstances or even His Children. He was no Theologian; He could that wholeheartedly.

Most people, most preachers even, state that serving Mammon is to love money, experiencing some kind of greed towards it and in some cases going through hardships because of coin gaining. I cannot disagree upon that, but I may affirm freely that serving Mammon is more than loving money.

Let’s take a few things Jesus related to serving Mammon:

  • Love towards money: “For either he will hate the one and love the other”; if you can love money, you may not, you cannot possibly love God – no matter what you say about it! There is no preacher that asks for money in church who may assume to be loving God, nor any man who consults his bank account day in and day out, nor anyone who keeps 90% of his salary for himself. To give all your money to the church – your whole salary – might not be to love God with it; how can ten percent of it ever be?

  • By not giving your money to a certain church may neither be regarded as unfaithfulness towards God, for in many a case it is a question of being faithful to God which causes us not to give. What would you regard giving a Satanist organization would be? What is the difference when you give to someone who serves the same devil with a Bible in his own hand? To grant such misconceived people your money is to serve Mammon with your salary and to make God angry.

  • Anxiety: “Therefore I say to you, Do not be anxious for your life”. Jesus says that our sole concern should be to be concerned about having a relationship fully established with Him, keeping it spotless and freed from erosion, slackness, sin or any other. Even if you are in sin, the cares of this life should never enter your mind at all, thinking, “what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” Mat 6:25. To be anxious is idolatry, just as disobedience may be. Mammon is an idol, anxiety the serving of it with the heart.

  • To add unto the stature: “Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit?” Mat 6:27. People many times work hard towards something which they are worried about either because they do not trust God enough or either because they do not have the freedom, the responsibility and the disposition to obey God rather. Because these love not whatever God has put in their hands to do, and because they lack in such things which they in any measure expected from God from the start (which might even be the very reason they joined the Salvation Army in the first place), they greedily go out trying to add unto their misconception of God’s own will. Your effort upon adding unto things which God is not leading you into for now is a peculiar way to have you serve Mammon while believing in God as well.

  • To hinder God to add unto us, or to seek anything before God has it available, even if it is at the throne of grace, might be found to be serving the same piece of stone which does not move by itself, with the exception of doing so at the heart of man. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you”, Mat.6:33 

  • Clothing. “And why are you anxious about clothing?” Mat 6:28. If you were going around having no money to buy one piece of clothing, if you were on the verge of going naked, after the example of Paul, if you in such circumstances should have a peculiar kind of thought towards whatever you were going to wear, feeling ashamed to be so it being God’s will for you, Mammon might have rejoiced if he were not a mere idol. If it is God’s will, your appearance matters very little. It is one of those times where it is not sin to show forth nakedness. If it a sin to desire after clothing when you have none of it, just imagine how huge a sin it might be to use your time in window shopping when you have many things to wear at home! Does Mammon come occasionally come into your mind when you do that? I guess not, for you do not even believe you could do such a thing!  

Could we talk, I am sure we would find many more candles lit towards Mammon and his temple. There is worshipping, and there is serving. You might be found worshipping the Living God and assume, because of that, that you are not serving Mammon. Hope it is true! May God grant it to be so. Amen.

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José Mateus