Money is important and we need to have enough of it in our lives. However, there is another way to live responsible lives upon this world. We should pursue lives of stewardship instead of slavery. It is called the way of the cross, the way of faith, the way of love, trust and thanksgiving. It means learning that our lives are not defined by what we have, but by what we do with what we have in the service of Christ. It means learning to be content with whatever the Lord has in store for us good or bad. Learning to be good stewards of all God puts in our hands little or much. Working hard while trusting God in his plan for our future, both in the abundance as with the scarcity, caring for our neighbor as ourselves, putting our gifts in Gods service, not only to help ourselves but caring also for others.
The truth is that a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses – Luke 12:15. Life is more than clothing, eating, drinking and money. Wealth is not the greatest good. It is just a tool and as all tools it should be in our hands and not in our hearts. Wealth is not the greatest rest, it is not the greatest happiness. It is not the ultimate blessing or the unconditional sign that God is with us.
There is a richness, of which wealth knows nothing. It is the richness of the abundance of faith, and charity and compassion and love and peace. It is the blessedness of a heart filled to overflowing with the grace and goodness of the Lord. Such a heart can be deprived of all the benefits of this world and is still content, because of the greatest riches of the spirit, which cannot be taken away, which remain for ever. And this is where a catastrophe like the Tsunami, Katrina and Earthquake may come to help us. It gives us and opportunity to examine our priorities, to see where the treasure of our heart really is. Which Master are we pursuing? In which God do we trust? Is it God or wealth/mammon?
All the evil related to the human side of wars, catastrophe, problems within churches and parishes can be traced to the demon of self-interest, and egotism. The principles that govern God’s people according to his righteousness are directly opposite to the demon of wealth. Wealth cares for things over people. God cares for people over things. Wealth cares for comfort over kindness, while God for mercy over affluence. Wealth cares only for self. God cares for self and neighbor. Mammon cares for money. God cares for stewardship. Mammon loves temporal glory. God cares for eternal glory. Mammon cares for appearances but God cares for truth.
Our church has run into trouble because it has ignored the teaching of Christ. Whenever the righteousness of the kingdom has been compromised by worldly interest and temporal glory the Church of God has suffered loss. We have abandoned his true worship. Our church is in the forefront when it comes to charity but we are still at war with our neighbours. The elder generation might tell us that we do not understand the sentiments attached to all the faction fights that go in the Church. True peace and love can never be restored when the Gospel is compromised…however high the stakes.
‘Seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ No one can serve two masters. We must chose between the justice of the kingdom or the service of mammon. We cannot serve self interest first and the kingdom of God at the same time. All of us are charitable by nature and we do a wonderful job but let me take this opportunity to make a humble request to my young brothers and sister who have jobs. Please GIVE openly and freely. Never has anybody in history become a pauper because of his/her charity. God loves a cheerful giver. This is a time to examine ourselves and reassess our priorities, to order them according to the values of the kingdom. Let us renew our vows and commit our whole lives to the honor and service of God and his kingdom.
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