Somewhere Between Two Masters
I've felt unsettled by a passage all week...
"No one can serve two masters. 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
Such strong words - love and hate...devoted/despise.
I find myself uncomfortable with the contrast. Maybe in part because I've convinced myself that I "can" live somewhere in between...a safe borderland where I can remain loyal to God's Kingdom without severing my loyalty to the things I love here on earth.
The tension is very real. A friend and I were talking last night about the tension we feel with Jesus' words. We're comfortable that our lives reflect our commitment to Christ. But we also enjoy our lives on earth. It's part of our humanity. I'm unable to say with any integrity that my devotion to Christ always trumps my other desires and devotions.
I had the thought last night that maybe the tension we feel isn't such a bad thing...maybe it's a reminder of a longing that will only be realized when we escape the limitations of our humanity. Paul says we groan (the tension and dissonance we feel), longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling (II Cor. 5:2). So rather than being paralyzed by feelings of guilt or failure we can live with a sense of longing and hope that one day we'll fully express and enjoy a single-minded devotion to Christ. Until then we live by faith not sight...comfortable with the tension of belonging to a Kingdom that while very real is not yet fully realized.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. - I Timothy 6:18-19
With every gesture of generosity my longing gets a larger part of my life...I taste a little more of the freedom and fulfillment that will one day be complete.
Fighting for your heart,
Reflections for your spiritual journey:
1. Use the week to reflect on Matthew 6:19-24 and I Timothy 6:17-19
2. What response does Jesus' words in Matthew 6:24 stir within you?
3. Describe the changes you might experience if you embraced the tension as exposing a God-intented longing for the future?
4. Invitation: Give expression to your Kingdom longing by living out I Timothy 6:18 toward someone this week.