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Matters of Faith: The difficulty of serving two masters

By Pastor Terry Brace
First Christian Church Du Quoin
updated: 10/6/2017 2:14 PM

The Book of Matthew tells us "No one can serve two masters" (6:24). This text is normally quoted when dealing with money as it goes on to say, "No one can serve God and wealth." But there are other times when choosing to serve God may come into conflict with other masters.

What other masters, you might ask? Well, besides money, we have public opinion. Can you think of a time when you did not say or do something out of fear of what others might think? Have you done something that you know was wrong? This is the power of public opinion. This is the master that is the "them" that exerts control over us. For our youth we call it peer pressure. For adults I don't believe we give it a name, it is just something we feel we need to do to get along.

Christians are torn in that we are called to honor and follow God, but the pressures and demands made by today's society appear so much more real than that small, quiet voice that tells us to "follow me." We give into the pressure when we as Christians keep our mouths shut when someone blasts God or accuses God of being unfair or of being a mean and vicious or vengeful God. When we go along with behavior we know that is wrong because we don't want our friends to think of us as "Goody two shoes" or "Holier than thou" or "Bible thumpers." When people "watch" their language around you not out of respect but to point out how different you are.

We as Christians must be aware of the question Joshua posed to the Israelites: "Whom will you serve?" Will we stand and align ourselves with the good God wants for the world, or will we allow the little things to tear it apart? Will we meet the struggles head on, knowing God is with us, or will we avoid them, fearing we are alone? Will we step out on faith, trusting God to provide, or will we need assurances before moving forward? Will we serve God, or will we serve some other master?

There will be difficult times no matter which you choose. Money and public opinion will put you in a situation that will make you compromise some principles. Serving God will put you into situations where you must stand for your principles and risk money and public opinion. How we choose to live is up to us. As a Christian I feel that life has only two certainties: One day we will die, and God loves each of us. The question is, will we love God back and serve the only master that really matters?

Matters of Faith is contributed weekly by members of the Du Quoin Ministerial Alliance.