What's So Funny About Money?

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When money is your master, you want to grab and hoard and spend on yourself. When God is your mas­ter, you learn to share with people in need and to give to others.

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 money, but 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 they’ll change some of our bills for real money.”

So Fred and Frank took a sack of phony money and started driving into the hills. Eventually 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?” 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 till.

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 can be a demanding master. The more you accumulate, the more you want. The more stuff you acquire with money, the more stuff you itch to have. And the more you stockpile money and stuff, the less you want to share with others.

Jesus put it all on the line: You can’t serve God and money. When money is your master, you want to grab and hoard and spend on yourself. When God is your mas­ter, you learn to share with people in need and to give to others. For Christians, money is simply a tool to serve others. That doesn’t mean you have to give away all your money and possessions. It just means you don’t let money or your desire to stuff yourself with stuff tell you what to do with your life.

If the only things dancing in your head right now are all the things you want to get this Christmas, you might be serving the wrong master. Let God change your heart as you contemplate all you can give to others at this giving time of the year.

REFLECT: What is dominating your thoughts right now—giving or getting?

PRAY: Father, build in me the kind of giving heart that you have—the one that was so selfless that you sent your Son to earth.

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