Mammon Has Friends
by Robert Morris
Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing some- thing they have decided is right.Romans 14:22 (NLT)
The Blessed Life
Over the last few days, we've talked about the spirit of mammon and how it wants us to rely on riches rather than on God. The spirit of mammon has some friends, and today we're going to talk about the other spirits that often run in the same circles. Just as a spirit of mammon will keep you from living the blessed life, so will a spirit of poverty and a spirit of pride.
A spirit of poverty will cause you to be ashamed of the blessings of God. It makes you feel uncomfortable when receiving blessings from others or owning nice things. Because the devil can't stop God's blessings, he'll try to make you feel ashamed of them. I know this because I have experienced it myself. There was a time when God had to show me just how prevalent the poverty mentality was in my thinking. I remember purchasing a very nice golf jacket once that was just what I had wanted and needed. I found it at a golf shop at half price. I called Debbie from the pro shop to get her opinion, and she said, "It's a great deal. Buy it!"
I wore it directly out onto the golf course and proceeded to play some of the worst golf of my life. Of course, the spirit of poverty was quick to place the blame for my horrible score on the new jacket. God didn't want you to have the nice jacket. You've missed God, and now your golf game is cursed!
Believe it or not, as soon as the round was over, I returned the jacket and got my money back because I felt guilty wearing it. But that wasn't the end of it. In the days that followed, I began to grieve over "being forced" to return that jacket. I stewed about it, and I actually found myself resenting God. I can't believe I can't even have a nice jacket. Other people get to have nice things, and I can't even buy a coat without my golf game being cursed. It's not fair God! After putting up with this nonsense for about three days, God eventually got my attention and spoke very clearly, "Quit blaming Me for not having that jacket! I didn't tell you to take that jacket back." Then He said something I've never forgotten. The Lord said, "Son, I never speak to you through guilt or condemnation." (He also added, "And, by the way, don't blame Me for your lousy golf game.")
It's amazing to me that people feel the need to explain owning nice things. If you are a faithful, generous steward, you will be blessed. There is no avoiding it. As we have seen over and over in this devotional, the more you give away, the more God bestows. Think about this for a moment: Is there anything God could do in your life that you should feel ashamed of? Of course not!
Now, the other spirit that tends to hang around mammon is the spirit of pride. Pride says, "You've earned this stuff. Your hard work, ingenuity, and talent have made it happen. Thus, you should be proud of the blessings you have received." This sounds like the opposite of the spirit of poverty, but the two share a common root—they get us to focus on "stuff" rather than God. We become centered on the blessing rather than on the Blessor.
The spirit of pride says, "Wealth comes from hard work." The spirit of poverty says, "Wealth comes from the devil." The spirit of pride says, "You should be proud of what you have." The spirit of poverty says, "You should be ashamed of what you have." They are both traps because they are things-focused rather than God-focused. The key to staying God-focused with our finances is to put God first and have a heart of gratitude. This means tithing and being good stewards with what God has given you and not having to worry about explaining your blessings to others. Once the spirits of pride and poverty no longer have an influence in your life, you'll feel free to recognize and enjoy the blessings God has given you.
Lord, thank You for blessing me. I realize that the spirit of poverty or pride may be affecting how I view Your blessings. In Your name, I rebuke those spirits and will no longer allow guilt, shame, or pride to ruin what You’ve intended for me to enjoy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For Further Study
- Psalm 62:10
- Romans 8:1
- Psalm 10:4