Bible Reading: Matthew 6:22-24
You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24
Did you hear about Fred and Frank, the two bungling counterfeiters? These dimwits printed a pile of funny money, only this phony currency was really phony. Instead of printing $20, $50, or $100 bills, they printed thousands of $18 bills.
“How are we going to spend our money?” Fred said to Frank. “Everybody around here knows that our $18 bills are fakes.”
“I have an idea,” said Frank. “Let’s haul the money way out in the backwoods. Maybe people there will change some of our bills for real money.”
So Fred and Frank took a sack of phony money and started driving far back into the hills, first on a highway, then on a country road, then on a dusty dirt road. After several hours, they drove up to an old, broken-down general store. “These people won’t think twice about changing an $18 bill,” Fred and Frank agreed.
They walked into the store and approached the old clerk behind the counter. “Would you be able to make change for us today?” said Fred.
“I reckon I will,” said the store clerk. “What do you need?”
Frank answered, “Well, can you change this $18 bill?”
“Sure enough,” the store clerk said, reaching for the bill.
Fred turned to Frank and winked. Their plan seemed to be working.
“By the way,” said the store clerk, “which kind of bills would you like in return—two nines or three sixes?”
If money is always at the center of your life, you will have more problems than Fred and Frank.
Money is funny. The more you get, the more you want. But Jesus put it all on the line: You can’t serve both God and money. When money controls your life, you want to grab and hoard and spend everything on yourself. When God controls your life, you are happy to share.
For Christians, money is a tool to help others. That doesn’t mean you need to give away everything you have. It just means you don’t let your desire to stuff yourself with stuff run out of control.
If the only thing dancing in your head right now is the swarm of presents you want to get this Christmas, you might be serving the wrong master—money. Let God change your heart as you think about all you can give at this giving time of the year!
TALK: What is dancing in your thoughts right now—giving or getting?
PRAY: Father, build in us the kind of giving heart that you have—the one that was so selfless that you sent your Son to earth.
ACT: Stop and think today about the gifts you’re giving this Christmas. Do you need to do any last-minute shopping or present making?