“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon”(μαμωνᾷ - Mamona).
Definition from Encarta
“Mammon, in the Bible, a personification of wealth and greed as a false god. Mammon was a Syrian god of riches. In the New Testament, Mammon is used in opposition to the Christian god (see Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13)”.
If you are reading this blog, you have a computer. Look around at all of the conveniences of our society. This is the world we live in. We may believe we are not serving ‘Mammon’. But, every day, we get up and place one foot in front of the other to get ourselves in gear to serve someone, all for the sake of monetary gain.
Several times, I have thought “I’d like a way out of this system. Maybe my wife and I can live among the Amish and learn their way of life. Would they accept us?” But, then, I think “I just can not live like that”.
These thoughts have been on my mind a lot, recently.
In this economy, I’m lucky to have a job! I’m a plumber. I resigned, into a recession from a company I had been with for two and a half years. Since then, I have had three employers. Most recent, I work with a small company who has found its niche, working in the off hours and on weekends.
In order to continue living among the wealth of toys and technology, where, when I need something, I pay someone for it; I must work off hours and weekends. I have become frustrated in having to sacrifice time with family and being able to have time for studying the Bible. I can’t find time to do work around the house. I’m constantly being called out when I am on call or not on call. And, I must go if I am going to be a part of the team. And, besides that, I am on commission. The economy does not allow me to make enough money during normal work hours, so off I go at 10 minutes to 10pm to help someone who is wealthy enough that they will not wait until normal work hours to clear a main line sewer blockage. Or, they will not wait until Monday, when it is Friday at 7:30pm, to have me fix a leak on a trap under their kitchen sink (Put a bucket under it! My mother and grandmother are in town!). And that parenthetical statement does not, at all reflect how grateful I am to have someone believe they have an emergency. Not reflective of who I want to serve and whom I actually do serve.
I want to serve the Lord, but our monetary system reminds me that I have to divide my time among work and working for the Lord.
I know there are many multitudes of people in the same position I am in. But, how did we get here?
"Sometime after Adam and Eve, a plot of land grew apple trees. Someone else’s land grew wheat. The person with wheat needed the vitamins from apples, (An apple a day keeps the doctor away) so he was forced to make an unbalanced trade. Here, he had to decide, ‘ I can either go along with it, or, I can try and take it.’ And so, the monetary system was born".
All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. - Acts 2:44-47
In my opinion, I believe what occurred among the Christians of the first generation is exactly what God had intended for us. What you read in Acts 2:44-47 is a model for community. I won’t say, “we will never get there”. I believe we are on our way; but not by our volition. I think the only way the human family will ever live as a community in the sense of Acts 2, is by necessity. What we are now, is a society.
I continue to imagine much pain before we see a Biblical existence of community.
I confess my rebellion. I know there exist a community of believers in Christ who live as a self – sustaining people. However, I am too stubborn and proud to go. Unable to go, even if I were willing. I've grown accustom to live among the toys and the many people who struggle to play hard, pretending to progress toward gain, hoping to find want for nothing.