November 26, 2007

When The Dollars Won’t Let You Go

I was cruising through my blog feeds last night and came across this post by Mark Dever over at 9Marks. He's been reading Bob Kauflin's latest book and references this quote in the book:

"I know worship pastors who wouldn't be in their present church unless they were being paid. That's not good. Salary shouldn't be the primary means of determining where we serve. And you shouldn't work at a church you wouldn't attend."

And that quote got me to thinking: How many people are in their current jobs strictly because of money?

I can say from personal experience that I know a bunch. I know folks who are employed by companies and organizations that if it weren't for the size of the paycheck, they wouldn't be there. I know people employed by churches who hold to a completely different set of theological beliefs than the church they are employed by, but because they church gives them big dollars, they don't say anything. And worse, they make peace with the fact that they aren't on board with the church's mission and live a double life. They will secretly lament the church's shortcomings, yet take its money.

In my opinion, that's stealing.

You see, IMO, when you sign on to a church or a ministry organization, you don't sign up for the money. You sign up because you believe in the mission. And when you don't whole-heartedly embrace the mission any longer, or the methods that are being used to accomplish that mission, it's time for you to go – regardless of the financial impact.

But people don't do that. Why? Because the false security that money provides becomes our God. We worship it. We bow to it. We sacrifice our character and integrity for it. We lose our soul for it. And we get trapped by the big paycheck. And we'll look back at our lives and realize we spent significant chunks of our time here on Earth laboring for a cause we didn't truly believe in. We'll realize we were hypocrites. We were acting. We were playing a part.

And millions in the world today are doing what they do, not because they love it, but because of the bucks.

I can think of no clearer example of what Jesus meant when He said you cannot serve two masters. Doing something you aren't truly passionate about because it puts big money in your pocket.

What people don't realize is that the money goes back in the box and you can't take it with you.

But you can take the growth, enjoyment, and experience of doing something God has called you to do all the way into Eternity.

Are you trapped by the dollars? I hope not.

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