In this secular driven society we live in, faith is seen as unnecessary. It is also seen as useless and irrelevant in a practical sense, since we have the power to get what we want. What many people overlook is the multiple levels of faith at play in our lives.
Whether that faith is an unproven leap in the dark without evidence, or the biblical kind of faith that is a reasoned trust, we live by faith. An example of faith that comes from a reasoned trust would be the relationships we have, whether friendly or romantic. An example of an unproven leap of faith would be the lottery since the odds of winning are low, yet the hope of winning is so enticing! You may “keep the faith” because someone else won big.
Speaking of money, there is a significance to money that every civilization has understood since it plays such a foundational role in how things are done. The Scriptures testify to this in Ecclesiastes when it says this about money:
A feast is made for laughter,
And wine makes merry;
But money answers everything. Ecclesiates 10:19
The words ‘answers everything’ are striking. It basically means that money is able to provide for all the physical needs that we have. We use it to trade, to invest, to feed others, and more. When you sit and think on it, it’s really incredible how much of an impact money has on us.
I found myself pondering the concept of money the other day, and how using it also requires faith. Then I remembered what Jesus said to the Pharisees about money in relation to serving God and it really brought the faith aspect of it home to me. Check out what He said in Matthew:
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. Matthew 6:24
If you’re like me, maybe you wondered why serving God and money would be compared since God is someone we serve, yet money is something we use. Then I truly got it! The concept of money is that there is a shared understanding of value that is used in commerce. The only reason why the paper we hold in our pockets has value is because it represents what we value as valid payment for services, commerce, produce, etc.
So the reason why Jesus said we can’t serve God and money is because they both require us to have faith in them. This faith moves us to serve and produces works and we actively participate in it. Our faith in God produces works of holiness, faith, humility, reverence, etc. Faith in money affects our relationship with God and people, our ambitions, motivations, and so on.
It is easy to ignore the central role faith plays in our lives, but don’t be fooled by the idea that we don’t need faith anymore because whether you believe in God or not, you live a life of faith. Always remember though, the strength of your faith is in what or who you put your faith in.