I have written about this passage before, but current circumstances have pushed me to write about it form a bit of a different light. A few nights ago I was rocking my son to sleep. He as slowly drifting off while I did some reading from God’s word. I came across the incredible popular passage found in Matthew 6. Many of you are probably pretty familiar with this passage. Allow me to share the portion I wish to discuss in this post.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Mathew 6:24-34
I’m not a rich man. I have a no aspirations t be a rich man. I do not hunger for extravagant wealth. While I am not frugal, I wouldn’t say I have an obsession with personal possessions. All I really care about is having my basic needs met. Food on the table, provisions for my family, a roof over my head, etc. I’m not obsessive over wealth. I’m not really even sure I would want extravagant wealth. I wouldn’t know what to do with it.
It is that attitude that has made me never really focus much on this passage. Why focus on a passage that clearly has nothing to do with me? Yet, the passage has everything to do with me. This passage is just as much for the poor man as it is for the rich man. We think that this passage is meant for someone who is rich, or at least strives to be rich, but context would tell us something very different.
I’ve been unemployed for a few months. I think I have handled it well for the most part, but the longer I have gone without employment the more stressful things have become on my mind. I simply prayed for basic provision. I didn’t want to be rich, but I did want to have food on the table. I didn’t want a mansion, but I did wish for a place to live. I never was obsessive over money though, or at least that is what I thought. How can money be my master if I have no desire to be rich?
Look at that whole passage again. We read verse 24 believing this is all about a rich man, but verse 25 begins with an incredibly pesky yet important word. “Therefore”. Jesus is telling us that those last words have importance and relevance to what he is about to say next. he then goes on a whole speech about not worrying about our basic needs being met. What is being said here? Jesus is saying that an obsession over paying for our basic needs is an obsession over money. The poor man can be a servant over money.
This hit me so hard as I was reading. My prayers became a little different. I continued to pray for provision, but for God to do thing in His own way. I no longer asked for my savior to be money to help with finances but for God to be my salvation in this area however he saw fit. The irony to it all? Two days later I was offered a job.
I was letting money be my master while never desiring to be rich this whole time. Matthew 6:24 is for the poor man too.