Some Thoughts on Worship, False Masters, and Money

a blog post about worship, false masters, and my unhealthy obsession with money {wearegospelgirls.com}

A couple weeks ago our pastor spoke about worship. This has been a topic that I’ve been thinking about a whole lot lately, especially – weirdly enough – as it relates to one of the things Jesus said about money. Money is a sensitive subject. I kind of hate when people talk about it, because I think a lot of times we make it too black and white or people speak in judgement when they should be speaking in love. But here’s the thing about money that I’ve been thinking about: In Matthew 6, Jesus says:

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. – Matthew 6:24 (NLT)

You guys… that is me. For the last year or so, I’ve lived with full recognition of the fact that I’m serving two masters – one I love, and one I resent. But both of them pretty much consume my thoughts and guide my decisions on a daily basis. The first is Jesus. I love Him, y’all. You probably already know this. I’m just smitten, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But the second master is money. And this is the one I kind of resent. Because seriously, I think about money all the time. Not in the, “I need more of it, I want nice things” kind of way (though admittedly my desire for a dishwasher can be pretty high at times). But right now my relationship with money skews more toward, “I’m in way over my head with medical bills and our combined student loans, and I have no idea where money comes from or how some people have so much, and seriously, I have no idea how I’m going to pay all these bills off.”

In the message, our pastor said, “What we worship is determined by what primarily dominates our mind, and by what we orient our life (time, energy, relationships, finances, etc.) around.”

By that definition, you could very well say that I worship both Jesus and money. I’m caught in a tug of war between the two.

My fear of not having enough money to pay all the bills has guided almost every decision I’ve made in my adult life – the jobs I take, the places I live, the things I do or don’t do. And while I do love giving and have also learned to let loose and enjoy life in the past few years thanks to the amazing people in my life, this all consuming anxiety about money has sucked out way more joy than it should ever have been allowed to suck out over the years. Because, seriously, the result of knowing Jesus is a ton of joy and not a ton of worry.

In the week leading up to our pastor’s message on worship, I had a series of heart to hearts with Jesus about a whole bunch of things. He’s reminding me to live in grace, and in stepping into grace again I’m reminded that my constant worrying about the budget and the stress it can cause isn’t compatible with the joy and freedom Jesus died for us to have. It doesn’t mean I won’t have to pay all these crazy bills, but it does mean I don’t have to worry about it.

The ending of Matthew 6 is actually my favorite part, because it’s the part I need the most. Jesus continues what He was saying with…

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? … Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:25-27, 32b-33 (NLT)

My favorite part of that entire passage? “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Not just “might give us everything we need” or “will consider giving us what we need,” but “will give us everything we need.” Even when we go through hard times or lose it all.

I know that I could go deeper into ways we can handle our money to make it less stressful, but for the sake of everyone who knows what it’s like to find themselves in a mountain of bills sometimes due to circumstances outside of our control, isn’t it really just as simple as that? That God knows our needs. That even when we’re over our heads, we can trust Him. And that ultimately He will provide what we need without our need to stress?

For reals, that’s all I have to say about that.

What do you guys think?

Original photo of “Woman Thinking The Money” by twobee from freedigitalphotos.net. All text and editing added by Stephanie Oh.

Advertisements

8 comments

  1. So much truth, Kim…..Joel and I were in major debt from Lyme treatments for both of us and Joel being on disability…….we kept tithing and believing all would be well….and in 13 months we were able to pay it a.l.l. Off. ONLY GOD! Trust His Word. For me I do not struggle with the money issue…but I get it. Other areas I am still growing in!

    Like

    1. That’s amazing, Renee!!! Only God, indeed! Money fears are definitely deeply ingrained fears that I’ve had since I was a child. God has always provided, so I’m not sure why I still struggle with it but I’m hoping this is the year I move past it!

      Like

  2. Let me first say ouch. The whole what consumes your mind is what you worship, ugh. Money and health are always competing in my mind for God’s rightful place. By God’s grace alone we have ZERO medical debt. Which just blows my mind because at times our bills went as high as thousands a month for my health. But even though God has allowed us not to go into debt, money is still a huge issue for us. My hubby is self employed and we literally live day to day never knowing for sure how we are going to pay our bills. I’m a huge saver and because of all the medical expense we have had no savings for years. We have to trust God to provide the work each month. It has been a HUGE walk of faith. I’m thankful that He continues to use it to remind me that money isn’t supposed to be my security. I used to trust in it instead of Him. I’m slowly learning:) And I am thankful that this world and money is all temporary:)

    Like

    1. Krystle, yes I totally relate to everything you say! How awesome you have no medical debt!!! That is def a miracle and so cool! I hear you on the savings account and the living day by day. We feel that way a lot with my husband in school. If I had my way we wouldn’t spend a dime on anything we don’t need for basic survival so we could save like crazy, but my husband keeps me sane and helps me find balance, haha. And yes, God always provides and reminds me not to worry. 😉

      Like

      1. Haha! I’m so that way about spending/saving money also, and my hubby too keeps me grounded. I’m thankful he does cause it’s not a pretty picture when I don’t let money be fun every now and then:):)

        Like

  3. Wow, Kim. I never thought about the fact that the resenting of money and the need for it and the lack of having it might be an indication of the fact that I’m really struggling to “serve two masters.” What you’re saying here rings true and I’m definitely convicted. I’m right there with you in wondering where the money’s going to come from to pay for the months and months of treatment that seem to stretch out endlessly. I think it’s hard, being raised in this culture, to not feel like our survival depends on having “enough.” And even when our definition of “enough” really is just our basic needs, the fear of not having “enough” is hard to shake. I was just pondering the verse Steph posted a few days ago, Hebrews 4:16. There’s a very strong parallel between that and Matthew 6:33. Seek God first and foremost (come before His throne boldly and with confidence) and He will provide for our needs (bestow mercy and grace to help us in our time of need). *Apparently* God’s trying to tell us something :o). I don’t know what the key is to “getting over” our fears of not having enough and our worries about financial burdens. Looking forward to wrestling through this along side you in the weeks and months to come. Thanks, as always, for sharing your heart and challenging me to examine my spiritual walk and listen for His voice!

    Like

    1. Courtney, yes, everything you say here is so true. I love the parallels that you draw between Hebrews 4:16 and Matthew 6:33… I’d never connected the dots like that before, but it’s right there! That’s a good one for my journal to really remember!! Thank you for challenging me as well!

      Like

Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s