Read: Matthew 6:19-24

You cannot serve God and money. (v. 24)

I was sitting in church, and the head pastor announced that the church might have to cut $70,000 from the missions budget due to a drop in congregational giving. To prevent this, he exhorted us to give sacrificially. As I sat listening, I felt a bit smug. After all, I gave faithfully to the church. But when I thought about the word sacrificially, I paused. Am I willing to give till it hurts?

When you hear the word greed, perhaps you picture Ebenezer Scrooge hoarding piles of money in a dark, cold room. But you do not need to be rich to be greedy. You are greedy when your money is more compelling than your relationship with God.

Examine just how much of your life is preoccupied with money: worrying about it, acquiring more of it, managing it, spending it. When the offering plate passes at church, do you give cheerfully, or does part of you resent it?

Greed signals a crisis of faith. When we are stingy with our money, it is because we fear what will happen if we allow Jesus to be Lord of our finances. Will we have enough to pay our bills? Will we be able to do what we want?

This is what Jesus meant when he said, “You cannot serve God and money.” If money is the source of your security, then you have made it your god. —Jane Olson

As you pray, ask God to teach you to trust him to provide for all you need.

About the Author

Jane Olson is a college counselor and high school teacher. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and children.