Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Matthew 6:24 (Today's New International Version)
Today's New International Version (TNIV)
© Copyright 2001, 2005 by International Bible Society

24 "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

These words of Jesus challenge me, prick me and make me uncomfortable if I allow them to reach my heart, giving them permission to change me. I have a feeling that I need to think deeply about them.

Our economy and society is based upon "consumerism". It's something I've thought about lately as I've driven by the packed parking lots of the malls and strip malls that abound in nearby communities. Our local mall, already large, is currently undergoing yet another expansion and adjoining fields are being transformed into vast plains of concrete to accommodate even more cars.

Only a couple of generations ago people worked in order to clothe and feed their families. If they were careful they could save what was left over for a "rainy day". How we have changed!

These days most of us work to service debt. We might say that it's because things are so much more expensive these days, but that doesn't explain why the parking lots of the malls are full - every waking hour it seems.

I'm a woman, and I confess, I love shopping, but I wonder if it's time to consider the need for change. Enough is never enough; there's always something better and perfectly good items are replaced. Fun though yard sales are for those who love them, they are a relatively recent phenomenon, and think of what is put out at the side of the road in the garbage once a month on the "large pick up" days in some towns.

I realize that consumerism provides jobs and our whole economy is based upon people continuing to spend, but Jesus had something to say about money; he said it can be a master. Am I mastered by it or do I have freedom? Even a slightly honest answer would tell me that I have some major adjusting to do in order to approach the freedom Jesus speaks of.

Do I want freedom, or bondage? Ah, that question is easier to answer.

Prayer: Dear Lord, your word searches my heart; it stops me in my tracks. Step one is to acknowledge an obvious dissonance between my ways and yours. Step two is to cry, "Help!" and I'm doing that this morning.

1 John 2:15-17 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

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