June 1, 2022
Lord, not to be servant of someone´s own money.
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 at the same time. Mathew 6:24
indeed, atheists can be religious people as well. They can, just like any other person, idolize their possessions, their wealth. Christians, too, can become addicted to their money through avarice and money-grubbing. For the reformer Martin Luther, this was idolatry. He wrote in 1544 in a small article (I have adapted it into today’s language):
"There is a difference between having money and possessions and serving money and possessions. God does not want us to serve money and possessions with stinginess and worry. He who serves is a servant and does not own the money, rather he will become a slave of the money. However, if he is a master of the money, this money will serve him, and he does not serve the money. He may then use the money by helping the poor with his money and giving to those who have nothing. When he sees one who has no clothes, he says to the money: "Out, Lord Euro, there is a poor person who has no clothes, you must serve him!" "There lies one sick, he has no help. Come out, Mr. Euro, you must go and help him!" He who handles his money and property in this way is the master of his possessions. But the one who only wants to save a lot of money and only thinks about how his fortunes grow larger and not smaller, belongs to the servants of wrong idols. Therefore, I would like to conclude my opinion: Money and goods we should have, but we should not attach our hearts on to them."
The way we handle our money illustrates to whom we really serve. Do we make ourselves dependent on money worries? Do we even have a “high regard” for money? We should have respect for the many people who have fallen into abject poverty as a result of war or natural disasters. They deserve our full respect. Through donations, we can alleviate their hardship. Currently, there are the refugees from Ukraine who are seeking help from us. According to media reports, 630 million Euros have been donated to people from Ukraine so far. We should not slacken in our willingness to help. But at the same time, we shouldn´t forget about the many other people about whom no newspaper or TV station is reporting currently. I'm thinking of children with cancer who need support. Or I think of the "Tafel" (food banks) that lack food support. We need a wide heart for those who live on the margins of society.
Martin Luther remained sober in his willingness to donate. He knew that he was first responsible for his wife and children. He had to provide for them. He did not support the laziness of others. But he stuck to his virtue of being a generous and charitable person who wanted to serve God and not money. An example for me: A role model for today, even after almost 500 years.
I kindly invite you for a short prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, please keep me from avarice and the spirit of worry. Keep me from idolizing both money and any possessions. Let not money and possessions rule over me, but you are the Lord and God of my life. I fully owe to you, what I have and what I am! Wherever it is possible for me, let me help with my heart and mind. Amen.
Thank you for listening to me. I am planning changes in our living location and therefore my next devotional will be posted not before August 1. Until then, may our good God bless you and keep you in spirit, soul, and body.