Glorious summer is nearly upon us, and as the winter has thawed and spring has sprung, we find ourselves in the middle of a season of political crescendo and commencement celebrations as students and families prepare for that next season of life, whether it be on to another year of education, heading off to that dream (or not-so-dream) college or finally launching into a long awaited job or career.
Like plants sprouting from the ground, with great eagerness we begin to lean toward the things we hope to accomplish in our lifetime. Perhaps you celebrate the direction we are headed as individuals, communities, a country and the world; or perhaps you find yourself in despair from those very same things. No matter your leaning, I have noticed a troubling refrain from various sides of the many issues we must face: if you do not agree you won’t get the money.
Everything seems to come down to some kind of financial threat. Will the states not agree with the federal government? You won’t get the money. Will the cities not agree with the states? You won’t get the money. Will you not go along with your employer in this matter? You won’t get the money. Will you not align yourself with this political group? You won’t get the money. Will you not study this or that field or career? You won’t get the money. Do you not agree with us? You won’t get the money.
I don’t know about you, but to me this seems crazy! At that same crazy moment though, the teachings of Jesus come flooding through my mind and begin ringing in my heart and ears: “You cannot serve both God and money” (see Matthew 6:24). And in our lives we will be repeatedly asked to choose: who will we serve?
Jesus then teaches His disciples, “Do not worry about your life… what will you will eat or drink… what you will wear… the rest of the world runs after these things, and your heavenly Father knows you need them. Instead seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” In Jesus’ economy we are called to make a much deeper examination of our motives and much simpler response: will we honor God or man?
Our world would love for us to believe the answer is a foregone conclusion: everyone must bow to money. But the biblical teaching is clear. In his pastoral letter to Timothy, St. Paul warns, “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Notice he does not say “money is the root of all evil” a misquote many will make, but rather the love of money. So the question we are all left with, both as individuals and as a people, is this: will we stand on our convictions even if it means “we won’t get the money”?
I hope we do.
Rooted in Jesus-
Pastor Bill Dempsey
Family Bible Church