Which Master to Love, Which to Despise?

grass-of-the-fieldby Phil Monk

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? I think we all do. And my wife knows I do sometimes. It seems that journaling is a helpful way for me to focus my thoughts back on what God wants for me.

Today I want to share a favorite verse on the topic of being overwhelmed from Matthew 6:34. It reads and memorizes well in the King James version, but the NIV translation is easier to grasp.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34 KJV

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 NIV

Friend, you can rest in knowing that Jesus recognizes that today has enough trouble for his children to be concerned about. The word for evil is κακία, translated evil, malice, or trouble.

What Are You Worth?

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:24-34 NIV)

Which Master Do We Despise?

The Lord is telling us in this passage that we cannot serve him as our master, (thus knowing his peace), if we serve another master, wealth. If we are anxious for tomorrow, we will not be in peace today. He promises to care for his followers. Note that Jesus tells them they will not be able to serve both masters. In fact, he says they will “despise one or the other.

We either despise wealth or we despise Christ. 

We are never called to be foolish in looking to the future. We are told elsewhere “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” (Proverb 22:3). Also, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just” (Proverbs 13:22).  So the book of wisdom instructs us on what a good man is, on how to be alert, diligent, and not haphazard.

But always we are to live life serving Christ as our only Lord, Savior, King, and Master.

Questions to Meditate on

  • Could the Lord be calling you and I to re-position our faith in him, to re-establish our allegiance to him daily as our only master?
  • How would our influence upon this world change, as ambassadors for Christ, if we surrendered our worries about tomorrow to Christ?
  • Further reading: John 17:20, 1Kings 18:21, Luke 8:11-15