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No one can serve two masters


“No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or to be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money” (Mt 6:24).

We must begin to understand the meaning of the first words “no one can be the slave of two masters”. I think that the words that follow these give us a good clue to understand them well. In the Lord’s opinion, which is the one that matters, we cannot serve two masters. At least we cannot do this service in the right conditions or in the right way. If we serve one master, we are leaving the service of the other. To serve, in the full or absolute sense, which is the service that the Lord demands -because He does not share His service with another-, is something that He expects from His servants. We could exchange the word “to serve” with “to love” or with “to adore” and perhaps in this way we could understand better that is not possible to love two masters or to adore two masters. If we focus on Christian service, only the Lord is worthy of ALL our service, love and adoration. And this is the way He wants it.

The Lord is referring here not to any service, but to the service that involves all our heart, which is the deepest of man, and the one which conditions what we do and want. The important is not the visible, what we outwardly do, although it has its relevance, as much as what is within our heart. The Lord has said that the first and main Commandment was to love Him with ALL our heart, with ALL our mind and with ALL our strength.

So, we can deduct, that if we have decided to follow the Lord, that it does not please Him a service with reservations, say, to reserve for ourselves certain areas of our lives, of which we don’t allow Him to be the Lord, because we have still not surrendered them to Him. If He does not reign in our entire life, we still cannot say that Jesus Christ is our Lord. Surely, in practice, all of us have our failures, but we cannot put, from the beginning limitations to the Lord in His areas of action. And this happens more often that we think, some times in a conscious way, but many other times, in a hidden or subconscious way, closing our heart to whatever He wants to do in our lives.

The final part of the verse is also to be reflected upon: “You cannot be the slave both of God and of money”. Some weeks ago, we have seen how powerful idol the money is, upon which man puts his love frequently and does this to the point that this love displaces the Lord Jesus from the place that He alone deserves in our lives. If the Lord said that one cannot serve God and money, for some reasons He said that. His word is valid and carries light and wisdom for all times. And if we go a little further, I believe that in the present times the love for money, or the service to money, is par excellence one of the main bondages that prevent many men, Christians included, from coming come out of slavery. To serve money is to give oneself to it, to search hard for it, to have one’s heart on it, or to live for temporal things.

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