Joshua 7:16-9:2; Luke 16:1-18; Psalm 82:1-8; Proverbs 13:2-3
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little, is also dishonest in much. If then, you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust you with riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your very own?
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“No servant 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.”
Many years ago I shoplifted a pair of earrings from the clothing store where I was employed. No big deal….they were small….they probably cost all of $7.00. The owner never missed them. I wanted them. I got them. I bowed down to the master “Money”. I really don’t recall the exact thinking that went through my teenage head at the time, but I felt that I owed it to myself to have something. The owner was “rich”, I was not. Screwy thinking I know….
But isn’t that how it is with money? The perceived lack of it will cause us to do some pretty stupid things. Jesus knows the power that money and prestige can hold over someone’s heart and mind. He jars us with His Words to shake us up spiritually–to question our motives and our loyalties.
Jesus wants us to search ourselves, especially if we call ourselves His followers, and to allow the Holy Spirit to sort and sift through our priorities and values to show us where we fall short and need Him to help us be the followers He wants us to be. Through our repentance and His forgiveness He breaks the bond of slavery to money. He lifts our sights higher than the material goods of this world. He enables us to see by faith the real treasure which is His never-failing love and redemption from sin, death and the devil.
I returned the earrings to the owner of the store some years later and with tears streaming down my face asked for her forgiveness. She was a bit embarrassed by my show of emotion over some silly earrings, but she forgave me and wouldn’t let me pay for them. I kept them for a long time to remind myself that God wants me to cherish Him and not things.
Lord God, the pull of this world with all that glitters is strong. Please forgive me for seeking fulfillment in “things” rather than being fully satisfied with the glorious riches of grace, mercy and forgiveness that are freely given through your son, Jesus Christ. Please help me to be a faithful Steward of the material blessings you have given to me for Jesus’ sake, Amen.