So you can love God and mammon, as long as your heart and character are right? But if your heart loves mammon—as well as God—Jesus says that heart actually hates God Mt. Jesus commands his disciples not to lay up treasures on earth Mt. Instead, sell treasured possessions, give to the poor, and have treasure in heaven; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also Mt.
The only rich follower who did that in the Gospels was Zacchaeus, who gave half of his goods to the poor and repaid four times as much as what he had gotten from fraud Lk. Thanks for bringing up these passages!
Do not treasure up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust cause them to vanish, and where thieves dig through and steal. But treasure up for yourselves treasures in heaven, neither moth nor rust make them vanish, and where thieves do not dig through and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
No one is able to serve two lords; for either he will hate the one and he will love the other, or he will hold to the one and he will despise the other. You are not able to serve God and mammon. We humans love all sorts of things. Some of them are great and wonderful, like God, goodness, and love. Others are small and relatively unimportant, such as ice cream, roller-skating, and high-heeled shoes. We are perfectly capable of loving both God and ice cream. And the Bible has no problem with that, as long as we keep them in the right order.
My apologies to those of you who work in ice cream parlors. That was a bad example! If Serve god and money think high-heeled shoes are the most important thing in life, that makes it impossible for us to serve God. Instead of doing what God wants us to do, which is to love God above all else and love our neighbor as ourselves Matthew But you get the idea.
Jesus does not say we cannot love both God and money.
He says we cannot serve both God and money. One of them will be more important to us than the other.
Another way of saying this is that we must not love money more than we love God. A quick reading of this passage may suggest that it means we should never save any money, or amass any wealth.
A roof over our heads, food, clothing, warmth, companionship. Yes, these things cost money. If we keep on piling up more and more money beyond what we need for the necessities and comforts of life, what is our purpose in doing so?
What do we plan to do with all that wealth? If our plan for piling up more and more money involves giving ourselves more and more power, possessions, and pleasure, then we are headed for spiritual destruction. We are serving money, not God. Serve god and money if our plan involves putting our money to use in serving "Serve god and money" and our fellow human beings, we are not storing up money for ourselves.
And even if we originally were making money solely for our own benefit, if over time we have a change of heart and decide to use our money to benefit humanity, then we are no longer storing up money for ourselves.
Jesus is not concerned about storing up money in itself. If we are driven by a love of money otherwise known as greed in order to serve ourselves only, then we are running afoul of the teachings of Jesus. But if we are not storing up money only for ourselves, but "Serve god and money" using it for the benefit of others in small or large ways, then it is not evil, but good.