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'...You cannot serve both God and Money.'
Let's be honest. For most of us, materialism is God's main rival. But it's possible to get increasingly free of it. Author John Ortberg writes: 'Sometimes when I'm speaking, I try a little exercise in dethroning the idol. I ask people to take out their wallet...It looks like a piece of leather. But it's really the temple of the 21st century. Most people in our day believe that their ability to experience happiness is directly associated with the contents of this little container. This is where the god Mammon lives. We give this little piece of leather the power to make us feel secure, successful, and valuable. It's very hard for us to surrender control of this little piece of leather.
The real issue: Who's in charge? Are you holding it, or is it holding you? So as a little baby step of surrender, I ask people to hand it to the person next to them. At this point the attention level in the room goes way up. Then I announce that we're going to take an offering. I encourage people to give with the extravagant generosity they have always wanted to exhibit. Wallets fly back to their original owners fast at this point. Then I invite them to declare today, 'Enough day.' What I have now - my home, my job, my possessions, my family, my lifestyle - is enough. I will seek another and better kind of wealth than terminal acquisition.' Then he tells the audience, 'Circle today on your calendar. From this day on, your race with the Joneses is over. The Joneses win, but so do you!'