We Can't Serve God and Mammon
By: Elias Bejjani*
"You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared whose will they be?" - Luke12:20
There are very few people who did not experience at a certain point of their
life a traumatic and disappointing encounter with a family member, a beloved
person, a friend, or an acquaintance who loved money too much. Worship of money,
better known biblically as Mammon, changes the thinking, emotions, conduct,
relationships, and priorities of people.
These bitter changes are for the worse. They strip those who worship money of their humanity, numbing their consciences, and turn them into wild beasts. "But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows". -1 Timothy 6:9-10
Since his first ancestors Adam and Eve were cast out of paradise and sent to live on earth, man has been fooling himself. Suffering a kind of elective blindness to the transient and temporary nature of lifeís journey on earth, choosing to entangle himself into its trap. Although lifeís unfolding events tell him loudly to wake up each day, he remains too blind to see that his life is not his own property and that He who granted his life can take it away at any time.
Every day we witness people around us get sick and find no cure for their fatal ailments. We see other suffer and die because of age, sickness, accidents and so forth, leaving this mortal world empty-handed. Ironically, we turn our heads to the other side and fool ourselves through denial, while deep inside we know that we are going to face the same fate too and die. But stupidly we choose to rebuff this reality and continue to behave as if we are immortal and shall live forever. "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through a needleís eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God". - Mark 10: 22 & 25.
Man's selfishness and lack of faith drags him into temptation and inflates his ego to the extent that he ignores the dire consequences of being wicked. Because of his greed for money he falls prey to evil thoughts such as theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance and folly. He gives in to temptation, worships God's earthly treasures, and defies God's teachings. He ignores the fact that God created these riches and granted them to man, and not vice versa.
Sadly, the money-worshiper becomes a mere custodian to these treasures and a slave to his evil instincts. In death he will have no choice but to leave all his earthy belongings here on earth. Meanwhile, his body will decay and return to earth as dust. God, who grants the life to the soul on earth in an earthy body will call on it whenever He chooses to.
Man is fully aware that what is on earth will remain on it. And although he knows that no creature has ever has been able to take with him any of its riches when the hour of departure ensues, he stubbornly allows covetousness to dominate his life by making earthy riches his priority. Man turns a blind eye to the fact that God created his soul, granted it the grace of life, and that this soul is just a guest in an earthly body.
You man, remember that from dust you were made and to dust you will return
What happens to the body when God calls on the soul to return to him? It becomes cold, motionless and immediately starts to disintegrate. While worms from within it go on a hasty devouring process eating its parts one after the other until ultimately the body goes back to dust. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
What does man take with him on his departure from earth? Nothing but his deeds and he will be judged on them when facing Jesus Christ on The Day of Judgment. According to these deeds he will either return to his Fatherís dwelling in heaven, or be cast to Gehenna where the fire is unquenchable and the grinding of teeth is continuous.
Everything on earth will remain on it
God might take back our souls at any time while everything on earth will remain on it. "Beware! Keep yourselves from covetousness, for a manís life doesnít consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses. - Luke 12:15-20
Our lives, the earth, and all that is on it are gifts from God. Gifts that He wants us to use in a righteous manner that satisfies Him. He has a plan for each and every one of us and for each gift that he granted us there is a purpose. We are required to be generous with these Godly gifts and make them available to others, especially those who are most in need. If we become greedy and evil, holding on to these gifts as to deprive those brothers and sisters who are in need them, God our Father punishes us in His anger at the Day of Judgment by casting us into Gehenna.
God knows how much earthy treasures are tempting and how fragile and weak is our will. He warned us of this trap: "you can't worship 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
Evil always contains the seeds of its own destruction which lead to its
By turning money and all other possessions into a curse that also hurts others, we are made evil and Mammon worshipers. By doing so and defying biblical teachings, we distance ourselves from God and move toward Gehenna as evil people. But let us remember that Evil always contains the seeds of its own destruction which lead to its downfall, even at its moments of apparent triumph.
We either make these Godly gifts a grace or a curse
In conclusion, when money is abundant in our possession, we need to be constantly aware that God gave them to us as gifts and for a plan and a purpose. He expects us to use them wisely and righteously. We either make these Godly gifts a grace or a curse, but the choice is ours. "Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which donít grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesnít fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." - Luke 12:33 & 34
*Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
*Web sites http://www.10452lccc.com & http://www.clhrf.com
*Mailing phoenicia group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Phoenicia/.