Slaves to Money | Who is More of a Servant? The Poor or Wealthy?

“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.” -Jesus

You cannot serve two masters

God gave you the ability to earn more than a living. He gave you the ability to build wealth and be able to give. (Tweet That)

 Listen to this post here.

I am a Christian. That means I believe that the words of Jesus are true. I just don’t always believe that the way people interpret His words are true.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 that you cannot serve two masters. Essentially, in reference to money and God, He is calling on His followers to pick a side. You can either be a slave to money or a slave to Him.

Backwards thinking

Many well-intentioned people who undoubtedly love God have decided that this verse means that money is inherently evil. Therefore, any effort to achieve wealth is serving money. The pursuit of wealth, in their eyes, is being a slave to money. It’s choosing money over God.

The reverse, of course, is poverty. If they remain poor, it’s impossible to serve money over God, since there is so little money to serve. Right?

Slaves to the check

Ironically these are the same people who rush to the bank on Friday to deposit their paycheck and panic on Monday if it hasn’t cleared yet. Their entire life revolves around that paycheck and the work that leads to it. Their days are scheduled. They are beholden to someone else for their livelihood (usually a wealthy person).

They need to work. They need the money. It controls their thoughts, their time, and their actions. In short, they are a slave to the paycheck. They are a slave to money.

Changing mindsets

I write this to shift your thinking on money.

No, you cannot serve two masters. You have to choose a side. And that might mean changing your view of money.

God gave you the ability to earn more than a living. He gave you the ability to build wealth and be able to give. I do believe that He wants us to live in abundance, not poverty. Not for selfish motives, but for the benefit of others.

Well done, good and faithful servant

I won’t rehash the whole story as it is likely familiar to many of you, but if you don’t know the Parable of the Talents, go read it in Matthew 25:14-30.

The short version is, a master has three servants. He travels to a distant land and leaves some money with each of them. Two invest it and multiply the money. One buries it in the ground. He stays conservative. I’m not sure what the inflation rate was in 1st century Judea, but essentially the master loses money.

When the master returns, he calls the the last servant “wicked and lazy,” but the others, those who increased his wealth, he called them what Christians have desired to be called for 2000 years: Good and faithful servants.

It’s interesting to note that this phrase only appears once in the Bible and it’s in relation to the handling (and earning) of money. 

And what happened to these servants? The last one was cast into the darkness. The other two were trusted with even more.

For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. (verse 30)

What is your view of wealth? 

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  • brentmkelly

    Great thought on a verse that can misinterpreted. Love your blog. I just started using soundcloud on my blog as well. Love it.

    • Thanks for the compliment Brent. Soundcloud is pretty good for what I need right now…might use something else if this audio idea takes off :)

  • tlscott1

    Great post Matt…I thought I was going to have to disagree with you until I read the post!

    I have had money and I have went through times when money was scarce. When I have money it is definitely easier to donate at Church, take time off to give my time, and not worry as much. So…I am a firm believer it is better to have money than not have it!

    • I thought I was going to have to disagree with me until I wrote it :)

      Just kidding.

      I’ve been broke and I’ve lived in abundance. In abundance we have:

      Sponsored children overseas
      Bought school supplies for unprivileged kids in Fort Wayne
      Sponsored missions
      Paid for thousands of dollars in car repairs for family
      and so much more.

      That is all in the last two years.

      I don’t say it to brag, but to point out that we could have not done those things when we had a poverty mindset.

  • Great post Matt. You’re exactly right. I’ve certainly had my view of wealth evolve over the years!
    I have found that to be true as well. The times that I’m most money conscious isn’t the times when I’ve had thousands in the bank (which hasn’t happened nearly as often as I’d like…), it’s been when I wasn’t sure if all the bills would be paid. It was in those times that I seemed to always be thinking about money and focused on money.
    It was in those times that I wasn’t able to help others, be generous or give more to my church.
    Money is a tool, just like any other tool, it can be used for good or bad. I also think it’s a magnifier. It magnifies your personality, your habits and your guiding principles.
    I’m amazed how much of wealth creation is related to how we think. If we have a negative view of money and wealth…then why would God ever bless us with more??
    Thanks my friend! Great thought provoking post!

  • My views of wealth are very conflicted and confused. I have Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s book “Thou Shall Prosper” languishing on my stack of books to read because I truly need help understanding the Biblical view. I do know that money is not evil or good – it is neutral. What we do with it and how we view it is the good or evil part.

    Here is Conflict #1:
    A.I think I’d make a great rich person because I am generous, don’t want to own too many things, and have good taste!
    B. I have chosen a profession that doesn’t typically bring wealth in a poor area that doesn’t value or cannot afford what I do. (Artist in a rural poor county where most people just buy stuff from Walmart or frame greeting cards for their walls. . . sigh)

    Conflict #2:
    A. I continually struggle with how to find new customers, how to sell, if I should raise my prices, if I am just not very good at either art or business, what the heck do I think I am playing at and why don’t I just get a job. . .
    B. It feels as if God has uniquely gifted me to draw, to represent the beauty of this beautiful area, to help other people draw, and I truly love what I do.

    Conflict #3:
    A. If this is a legitimate way to earn a living, why am I working so hard for so little?
    B.My husband had a steady job with retirement and insurance, and is now retired, so what am I oinking about??

    Wow. Conflicted and confused. Forgive me for turning your comment section into a potential counseling situation. I bet you wish you had ended this post with a different question!

    • Hey Jana, shoot me an email at matt +at+ I have a few ideas for you. Give me a few days or possibly post-Aug. 22 to get back to you.