Mammon?

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24 NASB)

What in the world is Mammon? Some translations just use money, and I guess that works, but there is more to it than just dollars and cents. My understanding is that this Greek word “mamōnas” actually starts out as an Aramaic word Mammon, coming from something close to “Amen” with a meaning of steadfast or stable – trustworthy.

The idea here is that Mammon is not just money, but the personification of a monetary system demanding your allegiance.

Perhaps an easier way for us to grasp it would be that Mammon is the spirit behind a system that trusts money.

Money is a necessary part of life on earth, and is amoral in itself. Mammon is not amoral, but requires your faith and service.

It is interesting to me that Jesus never warns of anything else positioning itself as our master. Jesus tell us more than once – you cannot serve God and Mammon, but never says, you cannot serve God and food, or God and sports – not even God and sex. All that is true by the way, but these gods don’t hold a candle to the mighty dollar.

So what are some tells of Mammon worship?

  • Greed – the sin of the rich mammon worshipper
  • Envy – the sin of the poor mammon worshipper
  • Anxiety – the sin of the middle class mammon worshipper
  • Hording  - the sin of the old mammon worshipper
  • Materialism – the sin of the young mammon worshipper
  • Fear – the sin of all the mammon worshippers

Since mammon is a matter of spirit, not possession, the rich and poor alike fall prey to this wicked controlling spirit. The rich may be miserly, while the poor may be plagued with self-pity or worry. In the middle class it may take the form of entitlement.

The good news!

There is an antidote to the spirit of mammon, generosity! Kris Vallotton says when you sense a spiritual attack trying to draw you toward some evil end, just do the opposite. So when you sense a need to hold tight to your money – break the spirit of mammon by giving something away.

You say – but Brother Ben, I am broke! How can I be generous? Well look around. You may not have money, but you have something! If nothing else you have 24 hours every day that you get to spend. Could you give some of that away?

Be generous with everything you have. Jesus says “freely you have received, freely give.

Break free today!

Tell me how it goes.

Ben

0 thoughts on “Mammon?

  1. widemargin

    Wow this is so profound. And yet so simple! I've never thought about Mammon in that way before. This is so clear. It really challenges the way I think about 'my stuff'. At the end of the day, we need to see God as our Provider, and trust him with everything. Get that into perspective, and generosity gets a whole lot easier! Thanks so much for this one.

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      I am glad it came out clear. Sometimes I teach around in circles and my wife looks at me with a "that doesn't even mean anything" look on her face.
      God bless you as you step out further today.
      Ben

      Reply
  2. Larry Carroll

    Ben, this is very clear and your examples of Mammon worship are easy for us to see all around us. You hit a "home run" with this one.

    Reply
  3. Caddo Veil

    This is Fabulous, Ben! I especially love the antidote--the concept of determinedly choosing to do the opposite of the negative/evil spirit's pull/push. And I think I may have felt a prick of conviction--I think (I'll have to go check with the Boss in a second, make sure it's not condemnation): I claim to love being generous, but I'm wondering if, in the process of picking and choosing who benefits from my generosity, I invalidated my claim--during this past month of "Thanksgiving"....hmmm, ponder ponder. God bless you and the fam--love, sis Caddo

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Well - i am sure the "Boss" will be glad to see you, and glad you care enough to ask.

      Picking and choosing is not all bad either, as long as the Boss gets a vote - (grin)

      thanks as always for your encouragement it helps me to keep going, when i am working on one like this week - where i have already re-written 2x and it needs another go - ah well

      bye for now

      Reply
      1. Caddo Veil

        I don't envy you, the teaching ministry you have here--and necessity for careful rewrites. With poetry, I don't have to work quite as hard...sometimes (grin). Later--

        Reply
  4. Debbie

    You did a great job on this , Ben, and I'd never been taught the difference between mammon and money! Thank you so much! The plan to be generous, to do the opposite of what the evil spirit is drawing us to do, is so doable and simple. Got it! While I love to give, I think I struggle at times with being truly generous. Have those moments of wanting to hang on to whatever I have. argh. God bless you and your special ministry to us. I love learning more about God here with you!

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      It is one of those thing where I had an ahha moment a few years back, and the idea keeps growing as i step in a bit, i learn a bit more.

      What i am learning now is how to blend generosity and responsibility so as not to ignore the other money principals.

      But that is for another day.
      Thanks much for stopping by. You add much with your 'take aways' i really love that.
      Ben

      Reply

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