A lot of people call themselves “Christians” … and then there are other labels too: Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals, etc. Really the word “Christian” should only apply to followers of Christ – those who in a practical and authentic way acknowledge and submit to Jesus as Lord of their lives.
I’m afraid, however, that some who call themselves “Christians” are actually “Mammonites!” What is a “Mammonite” you ask? Well the word “Mammon” in the Bible is used for “money or possessions.” A “Mammonite” (a word I coined… couldn’t you tell?) is an individual who, although claiming to be a Christian, actually in a practical way, worships and serves material things like money and possessions, rather than the Lord.
Here’s what Jesus had to say about that issue in the Bible (I read it this morning during “coffee with the Lord”)…
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth (“mammon” – KJV), who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? 13 “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 (“mammon” – KJV).” (Luke 16:10–13 NIV)
I meet professing Christians all of the time who clearly communicate in their casual conversations and by their life pursuits that they are actually “Mammonites!”
Here’s the deal… I must acknowledge as a Christian – a person who claims Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior – that “I’m not my own” – I’ve been “bought with a price!” In fact, the Psalmist declared, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it – the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1) That means I actually “own” nothing! I am a steward of what belongs to someone else (God!) … It’s not mine – it’s His! My task is to be a faithful steward with the money and possessions God has entrusted to me for His purposes, His kingdom, and His glory!
I don’t want to be a “Mammonite” – I want to be a “Christian!” I don’t want to fall into the trap of allowing my culture, its advertising, its values, and the deceit of my own heart, to lead me into serving money and possessions! Instead, I want to serve God and steward possessions and manage money in a way that honors my Savior and Lord! Don’t you?