“The competition between God and Mammon is that mammon promises us everything that only God can give us – security, significance, identity, independence, power and freedom. Money makes false promises.” Robert Morris, “The Blessed Life”
It is interesting that the word, “security”, which in its most common usage means a freedom from risk or danger or fear or anxiety, is also used in the financial world and generally means “any transaction that involves an investment of money in an enterprise, with an expectation of profits to be earned through the efforts of someone other than the investor”. What is interesting is that in today’s economic climate we find ourselves lacking in the first kind of security because of the faith we put in the second.
This global economic crisis is an interesting time in our history and everyone is looking for security or asking what is secure – in what should I put my trust?
One of the world’s largest insurance companies has had to borrow over $200 Billion (at time of this writing) and is still basically insolvent. The world’s largest and oldest auto manufacturers are essentially bankrupt and many of the world’s largest, and thought to be safest banks, are teetering on the brink. All around us, the things we thought were secure are crumbling. No wonder we seek some kind of security.
It is our human nature to seek security – it brings us peace and comfort. It seems that God made us that way and provided paradise where we enjoyed the peace and comfort and security of knowing God was in control. But right from the start, we thought we might be able to improve on His provision and it seems we continue down that road.
So many believers struggle with the tension between God and the things of this world (mammon). There is a tension between these two life walks.
- Money is here and now; in Christ we walk by faith.
- Money buys needs and wants; God provides all of our needs.
- Money brings recognition on this earth; God promises rewards in heaven.
- Money brings power and prestige on this earth; In God’s economy it is worthless. He walks on streets made of gold.
We succumb to the easy promises of mammon and find our souls empty for what we truly crave – security rooted in eternity.
Jesus said, “You can’t serve two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.” (Matthew 6:24 The Message)
This is a unique and uncertain time in the life of our modern world and to question what is secure is a good spiritual exercise. I believe the answer is written on the American dollar – “In God we Trust”. That phrase written on that symbol is both a paradox and a profundity. If it is true and we believe it and live it, then we need not fear. All will work out for our eternal good.