Saturday, 2 August 2014

Greed is a Mere Handmaiden of the spirit of Mammon

Many Christians think that if a person is under the spirit of mammon, it only means that they are greedy or materialistic. This is a very serious misunderstanding and it indicates that the person who thinks this is under the spirit of mammon themselves - because they cannot see the spirit of mammon.

Greed and materialism are only mere manifestations of the spirit of mammon. They are only the fruit of the bitterly deceptive root of the spirit of mammon, not the other way round. A person under the spirit of mammon may be someone who is not one that is driven only to accumulate wealth. Mammon is a spirit that seduces people into greed and materialism. The person who is seduced by mammon cannot blame it because he has the responsibility to resist mammon which tempts people into serving the earthly or material, as opposed to the spiritual.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:24: No man 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. This means that the unsaved  will serve mammon without a doubt. However, it does not mean that unsaved will not yield to the temptings of mammon, and try to serve it because of the desires of their flesh. A person needs to choose between serving God or mammon as the two are diametrically opposed to each other.

Jesus also said in Matthew 16:24 that: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. This is to say that if one wants to serve God, one must not serve oneself in anyway. To serve oneself is to serve one's own human desires, wishes and aspirations, that which is of the flesh. Jesus is indeed making a statement that one must put away one's dreams, desires, needs, aspirations and visions and trust only in God. 

A saved person can certainly be under the spirit of mammon. However, a saved person being under the spirit of mammon manifests differently from an unsaved person being under the spirit of mammon. The true Christian yields into temptation to trust one's own strength than to trust God. The unsaved person loves to serve mammon and is only too happy to serve mammon. Despite these differences between the unsaved and the Christian, that all people are tempted by mammon is not in any way an excuse for the Christian to argue that because all people are tempted by it, and that he is saved, mammon is not an issue. 

Such an argument is not merely unbiblical, but an abomination in the eyes of God. To argue that is to deny the saving power of God to make one righteous. The Christian should be righteous and is righteous because he is justified by faith and has peace with God through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). He is no longer under God's judgment like the unsaved. Therefore, for the Christian to claim that one is righteous is not self-righteousness but rather one that is true. It is true only because God who is the only one who is good (Luke 18:19) and righteous deems the Christian righteous. 

For a Christian to claim that he is unrighteous is not make not only an false statement, but to deny the work of God in him. It is an insult to God. Therefore, a Christian must strive to be righteous. This is done by rejecting mammon and resisting its temptations, forsaking one's comfort and smugness in material things as many Christians are, and return to one's first love for God.