Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

5.1.2 Power of Mammon

“The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper.” (Proverbs 28:25).


We must admit that our Western world is characterized by prosperity and a high standard of living (food, housing, health care, electricity, information, culture and literature, etc.). There is an abundance and immediate availability for all basic needs (basic food, clothing etc.). This could lead one to think that because of this abundance, we would then live in peace with one another, share with those in need, live a life of satisfaction, and take care of the environment.


This could be the case, if not for the one spirit in and around us, which suggests exactly the opposite to us again and again. This is the spirit of Mammon. Mammon produces the penetrating feeling of lack, and the perpetual feeling of “not enough” or dissatisfaction with what we do have. The basic idea is that sooner or later we will buy or achieve something valuable enough that will finally fulfill this need. Perhaps, if we have only achieved, created, married or bought one thing or the other – then we will be really fine. Then our lives will finally change, and then we will be truly satisfied. 


For many, this feeling of lack goes so far that they are willing to go into financial debt, to purchase something that could give them some sort of security. Finances can also leave others so worried that they don’t spend any money at all. That they are afraid of losing their current wealth and possessions, or making the wrong investments. There are so many questions that can plague someone, leaving them in a state of worry. How long will our economy or our country continue to prosper? How many refugees or immigrants can our country withstand? How long do you think it is possible to live the way we do today? Will the job market go on like this or will I lose my job? What if I get sick? 


In our churches, conflicts of interest are often shaped by the flow of capital. Often, those who give the most also have a say in where the money is given.  As a pastor, can I really guide this process of change that is so dear to my heart? Even when I realize that I run the risk that the biggest “givers” of the church won’t be in support? Can I answer that? To me? To my family? The rest of the church?