Daily Devotional

Not a Game of Monopoly

by Simon Whitton

13 "No servant can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money."
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
15 He said to them,… "What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.

Luke 16:13-15 (NIV)

We all know life is not a game of monopoly, but then why do we act as if it is? Life often feels like a rat race, going around and around, collecting a paycheck every time you pass Go.  We try to pay off our mortgages and avoid landing in jail.  We're delighted when we get a chance to win a contest or there's been a bank error in our favour.

There's an underlying sense that we are in competition with the people around us; we're always trying to get ahead, trying to get more property.  When we take stock of our success, does this mean we calculate our net worth?  It's almost as though we believe the winner will be the one who accumulates the most wealth!

Are we are so afraid of being poor and so enamoured by wealth that we wholeheartedly buy into the monopoly mindset?  Of course we need to work, poverty can be a curse, but we have to make sure our values are right.

What is highly valued in God's sight is people.  But when we set our desire on possessions and wealth, we run the risk of our neighbours becoming insignificant, or perhaps they even become an opportunity for selfish gain.

Our heart's desire should not be for belongings or possessions; we should show restraint in our attempts to get rich.  Pursuing wealth is 'highly valued among men' but not God, and we must be careful not to camouflage it as 'working hard'.

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Proverbs 23:4-5(NIV)

Instead we must chase after God, His lasting kingdom and righteousness.  The apostle Paul elaborates on this in a letter to Timothy.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

1 Timothy 6:6-11(NIV)

If you spend your life chasing the wrong things, you will one day regret it. Practice contentment, be satisfied with what you really need, and pursue the way of God.

Spend some time praying and confess where you have despised God in favour of wealth.  Ask the Lord to help you escape the game of life that will never satisfy.  Pray that you would serve God and highly value the same things as Him.

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