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Are You a Slave?

Via Flickr by user Missy & The Univers. Used under Creative Commons license.

I don’t mean to scare you, but I think it really is my duty to let you know: There’s a good chance that, unintentionally and totally unknowingly, you have become a slave.

No, I’m not referring to the antebellum South, or to human trafficking or any of the other hot-button issues that come up when we think of slavery. I’m not even talking about the concept of being a “slave to sin,” (though that certainly applies here too). What I am talking about is much more sneaky, stealthy and downright insidious. It’s a kind of slavery that begins to capture parts of your heart and mind slowly, from your early childhood, and can control you all through your adult life if you don’t break free. Learn to recognize the signs, and you’ll begin to see it everywhere — all around us, people have become slaves to

money.

I can hear what you’re thinking: “Some people are greedy and ambitious, but not me. In fact, I have nothing in my wallet right now except for the Washingtons I keep in there for decoration. I pride myself in the fact that I work in a low-pressure, low-pay job, so I’m really not motivated by money. Some people might be slaves to money, but not me.”

Are you sure?

The reason I ask is this — a while back, I discovered (or re-discovered) something profound that Jesus said in Matthew 6:24:

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

In the past, when I’ve read this verse through my Sunday-school lens, I’ve always sort of dismissed it. “Okay, Jesus is saying not to be greedy. I’m good on that point; let’s move on.” But for some reason, when I read the passage again, God really opened my eyes to something new: Implicit in this verse is the concept that money can make slaves of us. And if we’re not careful, the chains it clasps around our ankles can hold us back from loving and serving God like we should.

I realized that morning on my living room couch that there are all sorts of ways that money sneaks into to our lives to enslave us. It’s kind of a scary notion. Even more terrifying to me was the revelation that there were several places in my own life where money had made a slave of me.

Over the next few days, I made a list of all of the different ways that money slips shackles around our hearts. Greed may be at the top of the list, but it’s accompanied by things like debt, poverty, envy, stinginess, discontentment and a host of other bad dudes that crop up in our lives all too easily — even in the lives of Christians.

In upcoming articles, we’ll explore the ways that we fall (not-so-innocently) into these bad habits and bad attitudes, and we’ll learn what God says about how to break free from bondage to money and learn to make our finances work for us, and more importantly, for Him. I hope you’ll join me.

Up next: What is this greed thing, and how did it get a hold on me?

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Comments

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Trackbacks

  1. […] to find evidence of how the world’s financial thinking can lead to greed, poverty, debt and slavery. So what’s the alternative? Well, God has a plan for your finances. And it’s not as […]

  2. […] makes slaves of us when we allow our desire to keep our money to outweigh our desire to use those resources to […]

  3. […] our hearts, some of us are going to say “No.” Money can make slaves of us by warping our attitudes in various ways, and causing us to see our lives and the world […]

  4. […] We’re blessed to live in an era in which human slavery is no longer legal in the United States. But just because you’re not shackled by physical chains doesn’t mean that you’re not a slave. The Bible tells us that apart from the grace of God, we are all slaves to sin (Romans 6:17). And Jesus also warned us that, if we’re not careful, we can become slaves to money. […]

  5. […] you’ve become a slave to money, it’s not because someone has slipped iron chains around your ankles. It’s because […]

  6. […] that we have are really ours. This attitude can get down into our hearts and cause us  to become slaves to money. To break free, we’ve got to replace that erroneous idea with this true one: God owns it […]

  7. […] become proud, greedy, arrogant and stingy. It’s a great recipe for eventually becoming a slave to money. Even worse than that, though, we begin to forget about God. We neglect to thank Him and praise Him […]

  8. […] it: For years, you lived as a slave to money, tossed back and forth by waves of bad advice and short-sighted financial decisions. When you had […]

  9. […] hope that by now we’ve convinced you that debt is a form of financial slavery. It’s not something that God designed to be a part of your financial life. And in order to […]

  10. […] you’ve been following this site for a while, you’ve probably heard us talking about how money can make a slave of you. In sneaky and pernicious ways, money takes hold of our hearts, making us captives to greed, debt, […]

  11. […] spend a lot of time on this site talking about the different ways that money can make slaves of us, and how God’s word gives us wisdom to break free from this slavery and live our financial […]

  12. […] borrowing or hoarding eventually get us into a lot of trouble with money, and can even make us slaves. On the other hand, good habits like budgeting, saving, tithing and giving help us to stay out of […]

  13. […] the family junk that has encased our hearts. Studying God’s word, we’ve learned that money can make us slaves, that laziness leads to poverty, that overspending robs us of our futures and that borrowing money […]

  14. […] is a pretty powerful force in our society. If we don’t handle it right, money can make slaves of us. And if we let money infest our hearts, it can lead us to do some pretty horrific things. If we […]

  15. […] Money is a tricky thing. We have to use it to get around in this world, and the  more adept we become at earning it and using it, the more great things we can accomplish with it. But like the Force, money has a dark side. The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and Jesus tells us that if we’re not careful to master our money, it can make slaves of us. […]

  16. […] most clear examples of a money slave who turns over a new leaf, giving us a case study in how money can enslave us and how we go about getting out of […]

  17. […] talked a lot about how money can make slaves of us. It happens in ways both obvious and subtle. For some people, a love of money completely warps the […]

  18. […] lives were marked by slavery to money. As Jesus warned, if we don’t master our money, it can make slaves of us. We’ve met several money slaves in the New Testament so far, including the Rich Young Ruler, […]

  19. […] we don’t often think of things this way, it’s all too easy to become slave to money. It’s not just greed or debt that make us money slaves — the enemy can use money to […]

  20. […] from the Old Testament — few people do — but he’s a perfect biblical example of a money slave. If you take some time to familiarize yourself with his story, you can learn some lessons from his […]

  21. […] cannot serve both God and money.” We’ve used this verse to teach the dangers of being a slave to money, and have explored many of the ways that money can make slaves of […]

  22. […] God and money, and we’ve spent a lot of cyberspace on this site talking about the ways that money can make slaves of us. Some of them are obvious. like greed, selfishness, envy and poverty. Others are more subtle, like […]

  23. […] living in a highly materialistic world, we must constantly be on our guards to ensure that money does not make slaves of us and rob us of God’s destiny for our lives. There are many things that we can do to guard our […]

  24. […] is also a great remedy for many of the wrong financial attitudes that can bind us up in slavery. A thankful heart isn’t stingy, greedy or envious. Thankfulness is the antidote to […]

  25. […] If you’re like me, you may struggle with stinginess. A stingy heart has trouble giving. Stinginess wants to hold tightly on to wealth; it doesn’t like to let go of money, even for a good cause. It’s a deep-rooted attitude that can be impossible to outgrow on your own, one of the many ways that we can become slaves to money. […]

  26. […] site, you probably know that we’re no fans of debt — we believe that debt is a form of money slavery that can bind up your financial life for years. And payday loans are among the very worst kind of […]

  27. […] Money can make slaves of us in all sorts of ways, warping our attitudes and inhibiting us from using our resources in the way that God wants us to. Among all of the ways that money slavery can bind us up, envy is one of the most sneaky. You can have a good head on your shoulders, budget well, avoid debt and even be a faithful giver. But if envy has got its hooks in you, it doesn’t matter how much you’ve been blessed — you’ll constantly be tempted to compare yourself to others. And when you do that, your heart becomes blind, and you miss out on the riches of Christ in your own life. […]

  28. […] there is hope for people who struggle with fear. There are all sorts of ways that money can trap us into slavery, and fear is one of them. But for every form of slavery, there is an antidote. And for fear, the […]

  29. […] about the dangers of comparison, and how constantly comparing yourself to others can make you a slave to money. Nobody wins the  comparison game. Today’s lesson is related: If you get into the habit of […]

  30. […] Money can make slaves of us in all sorts of ways. It’s not just greed or debt that trap us in financial slavery: Anytime money warps our thoughts, attitudes or relationships, it is taking control of us (even if that control seems subtle and excusable). And this means that, even though I may have a good attitude 95 percent of the time, resigning myself to a poor attitude during the other five percent is opening the door to financial slavery in my life. […]

  31. […] that we need in life. The second is that, if we’re not careful to keep the right perspective, money can make slaves of us in all kinds of insidious ways. We see these two powerful principles come together in the story of […]

  32. […] we’ve discussed extensively on this site, money has a sneaky way of making slaves out of us. If we are not diligent to take control of our financial lives, finances can very quickly take hold […]

  33. […] and the culture that goes along with it. The Bible warns us, many times and in many ways, that money can make slaves of us if we’re not careful. Things like greed, debt, poverty, envy and other rotten attitudes are […]

  34. […] at God, Money & Me is the way that money — and the things that come along with it — can make slaves of us. Some of the ways that this happens are obvious things like greed, debt and other phenomena that […]

  35. […] spend a lot of time here talking about how money and associated things can make slaves of us if we’re not careful. This is true of work just like it is anything else. Though work is […]

  36. […] more ways that almost any other facet of human life, money has an overwhelming capacity for making slaves of us. Some people are slaves to greed, envy, or poverty. Other times the slavery is more subtle: We can […]

  37. […] experiencing true freedom in life. Money and the trappings of the modern world can often be the cause of this slavery, unless we learn to use wisdom to walk in […]

  38. […] some of them can cause adverse effects if they go too far. And since it’s easy to fall into financial slavery if we’re not careful, we need to makes sure that our parenting strategies aren’t leading […]

  39. […] Financial slavery is a trap that is very easy to fall into, and it happens in more ways then you might think. Yes, debt and poverty are obvious examples of financial slavery, but money can creep into our hearts and minds and take our attitudes captive as well. When money affects the way that you think about and relate to other people, it makes a slave of you. […]

  40. […] Scrooge doesn’t see it, but he’s a slave to money. […]

  41. […] diligent stewards and generous givers, all of which involve money. And yet Jesus is also clear that money can make slaves of us. We must walk a tightrope between these two […]

  42. […] Bible teaches us that money can make slaves of us in all sorts of ways. Some of those ways are overt; others, like selfishness, are sneaky and […]

  43. […] So here’s the short answer: Yes, God wants us to work really hard and achieve excellence. He blesses us in His timing, but He does so according to the faithfulness and diligence that we’ve shown. So go out there and give it your all to win in the workplace… but be careful that you don’t get carried away to the point where your life becomes unbalanced, because this is a form of financial slavery. […]

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Copyright Brian Jewell, 2011-2013

All of the contents of this site and its posts are copyright of Brian and Laura Jewell. Any redistribution or duplication of this material, without the consent of the authors, is strictly prohibited. Instead, please feel free to link to us. Thanks!

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All content on this site is given on a general basis and is intended for informational use only. The content does not reflect any professional legal, investing, accounting or tax advice, and should not be used as the sole basis for making financial decisions. Always consult a certified financial professional before investing.
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