God created man in is His image, but He gave man free will to choose how to live his life. God is not a grand puppet master pulling our strings and making us slaves to His purpose. He wants us to choose His will over our own, but that is no easy task as temptation surrounds us every day.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus warns His disciples that man cannot follow two masters – he must serve either God or money.
The idol of money has replaced God for most people. It continues to draw people farther and farther away from Him.
But there is always hope despite the struggles we endure. We may abandon God, but He never abandons us. There is always a way back to Him despite the numerous times we fall.
Whose Will to Follow?
It is so easy to get wrapped up in what we want and what we feel is best for us that we forget to look to our Creator for those answers. God’s will is perfect. He has a perfect plan for each of our lives. If only we have the humility and trust to submit to Him.
We may not understand why God allows certain events to happen, but His intentions for us are always out of love. If we truly believed that, we would follow without hesitation.
Too often, we feel the need to rely on ourselves to solve our problems and make good things happen, forgetting our Benevolent Father.
Even Jesus felt the human urge to seek his own path but ultimately realized that His Father’s plan would fulfill a far greater purpose than others he could devise. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he prays for an escape from his impending crucifixion but submits to God’s will.
If Jesus had decided to do it his own way, mankind would not have been saved. The gates of Heaven would remain closed to us, and our relationship with God would stay broken due to Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. By serving God and not his human inclinations, Jesus gave every one of us life.
When we turn from His will, we become people of the world instead of children of Heaven. We are slaves to money which can lead to many unfulfilling roads to unhappiness in the form of debt, dissatisfaction, and a craving for more. Money is an empty promise.
The continuous pursuit of money for mere personal gain is the breeding ground for greed, dissent, and dishonesty.
The more material possessions we acquire, the more connected we are to this fleeting life. And we fail to remember that this is not our final home.
How Do I Pursue God Without Serving Mammon Too?
To serve God, we must die to ourselves. We must be willing to give ourselves over in full servitude to our Creator. He who made us loves us without end, and He proves that love to us without obligation to do so.
We see it in the Bible through the promises He made to Abraham, Noah, and Moses. In the stories of the Old Testament where mankind has failed God by ignoring His commands or blatantly disobeying His will, God continues to give us second chances because He loves us.
God did what He could not ask of Abraham and sacrificed His own son. He did so because of His union with mankind.
The Green-Eyed Monster
Suffice to say, being humble and not being greedy is a challenge for all us. The human self inclines to turn inward and do what’s best for oneself. The Devil turns that to his advantage by convincing us that what is best for us does not involve God.
We cannot listen to his temptations and allow ourselves to be separated from the only true source of happiness, joy, and peace we can ever hope to achieve. We need to put God first every day for the rest of our lives.
We need to hear His words written through the divinely inspired authors of the Bible and Jesus himself. We need to pray and lean on God for all things and trust that no matter what the answer is to our prayers, even if it’s not what we intended, it is His will in action.
What Does Serving Money Look Like?
To serve God is to pursue and discover true happiness, not a fleeting emotion that a new purse or trip to Disney World provides. This does not mean there won’t be pain and suffering – in fact, it most likely means there will be more.
People who live for this world are trapped by the fear of death. Money is believed to be everything because money can buy the façade of happiness that we can only experience for our short time here on earth.
People who greed for money do not understand those who live for God and the kingdom to come. They cannot fathom something they cannot see or that no one can provide tangible evidence for. The actions of those who live for the Lord seem foolish and wasteful because they are not taken advantage of by worldly possessions.
That’s not to say that all who serve God emulate St. Francis or St. Clare in all aspects of their lives by giving up everything. It does mean that those who serve God can fully give up themselves without question and without limit.
What Does Serving God Look Like?
Those who serve are generous with their time, talents, and their treasure. They would not think twice about giving someone the shirt off their back or giving someone shelter and food. These people do not stress about where their next meal is going to come from or have anxiety about what tomorrow will bring.
They do not fear death because death is not the end – it is the gateway to a new and more perfect life where we are in full communion with Christ. They recognize their inherent weakness and rely on God to give them strength.
Those who follow God acknowledge they are sinners and will stumble time and time again. However, they do not let their sins define them and rather present them before Jesus in utter humility so that he may cleanse them.
We cannot forget that Jesus chose to dine with tax collectors and prostitutes because he so desired that these lost sheep return to the Father.
We are lost sheep who choose the wrong path every day, but God has given us the grace to be saved no matter how many times we fall away from Him. How can we choose a better master to serve than that? Is money as forgiving?
Give Yourself to God
Surrender yourself to God completely and you will never regret it. It is our duty as God’s children to allow Him to create something perfect and new with us.
Money and worldly things can make us pretty on the outside, but God makes us perfect from the inside. We cannot stay tethered to objects that are easily lost through carelessness, greed, and tragedy. No matter what we do, say, or think, God will always love us. He wants us to return to Him always.
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