The Money Quiz: Do You Serve God or Money?

by Joe Plemon on February 5, 2010

Free Falling
Creative Commons License photo credit: AJU_photography

Mat 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

We simply can’t have two masters. One will be saying, “Go there and do this” while the other will be telling us “Stay here and do that.” Serving both is literally impossible, so Jesus is stating the obvious when he tells us that we can’t serve God and money. But I have the feeling that most of us are not absolutely clear where our loyalties lie.

The following quiz is far from perfect, but the intention is to flush out those loyalties. By the way, this is for me as well as you:

Do you acknowledge that everything belongs to God?

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell.”
Psalms 24:1

You can’t serve God above money until you realize that He already owns it all. He even owns us. We own nothing. He allows us to manage His assets, but never to claim them as our own.

Are you generous?

God is a giver…He gave his only son for us. John 3:16.  Our responsibility to Him as we manage His assets is to use them in a manner that he would. Tight fistedness is a symptom of loving the money more than we love God.

Are you cheerful about giving?

2Co 9:7 “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”. Giving cheerfully is a great sign of acknowledging God’s ownership.

Do you hoard your wealth?

Have you established a maximum (not minimum) limit on how much you will save before giving the rest of your wealth away? If not, you are in danger of being like the rich man Jesus called a fool (Luke 12:16-21). Consider the example of millionaire heavy equipment manufacturer R. G. LeTourneau who for years lived on 10% of his income and gave away 90%. “The question” LeTourneau said, “is not how much of my money I give to God, but rather how much of God’s money I keep for myself.”

Do you accumulate stuff?

Look around. Is your garage or basement is filled with stuff that you no longer use? Do you pay for a storage shed to house your stuff? Do you keep clothing that you haven’t worn in over two years? Is it possible that you are hoarding “stuff” in a similar way that the rich man hoards his wealth? Does the thought if getting it out of your life cause you to hyperventilate?  Hmmm. You just might have a misplaced loyalty.

Do you worry about money issues?

Worry is a symptom of misplaced trust. Jesus said to the worry warts, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mat 6:33)

How did you do?

I confess that I have some areas that I need to work on.  Janice and I have never established a maximum limit on our savings/investments, and I definitely need to ask myself why I think I need all of the “stuff” that clutters my basement.

Conclusion

It seems to me that who we serve is a matter of trust. Most of us know that we need to serve God rather than serve money, but in our nation of affluence, do we REALLY trust God to take care of us if we were to lose all of our money, our 401(k), our retirement accounts, our home? Hopefully, we will never need to experience anything like that, but it has happened to others throughout history and it could certainly happen to us.

In times like those, as in today’s times, Jesus’ words will ring out loud and clear:

Mat 6:24, 25, 33  “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.  Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Did these questions challenge you to examine your loyalties?  What other questions would you add to this quiz?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Williams February 5, 2010 at 11:09 am

Great article, Joe! It’s essential for Christians to focus on serving God – which requires that we make sure we’re not serving money. Your test is helpful in allowing us to see what serving money looks like. Thanks!

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joeplemon February 5, 2010 at 11:27 am

Paul,
Thanks for the encouragement. I value your input, especially on this post. I am glad the quiz helps…it helped me. My wife and I had a conversation this morning about “what is the maximum amount we should allow our savings and investments accumulate?” We don’t want to be hoarders so we are thinking and talking about how to make sure God is first.

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FinancialBondage February 5, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Since less than 3% of Christians tithe, it would seem that most are serving money and possessions.

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Paul Williams February 5, 2010 at 6:14 pm

@FinancialBondage: If tithing is how you judge whether a Christian is serving money or God, you’re missing Jesus’ teaching on giving and the rest of teaching about giving that we find in the New Testament. We’re held to a much higher standard…

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joeplemon February 5, 2010 at 6:48 pm

@Financial Bondage: I would hope that Christians give at least a tithe for God’s kingdom work. If that 3% stat is accurate, I would agree that it is an indicator that doesn’t paint a great picture of where most Christians’ loyalties are.

@Paul: I agree that we are held to a much higher standard. It is possible to give a tithe and still love money more than God. The challenge is serve God with all of our hearts. If we do that, the money part will take care of itself.

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ParisGirl111 February 11, 2010 at 11:20 am

I am guilty of the last one. I tend to worry when the bank account starts to dwindle close to zero. Lack of trust can also reveal itself in other areas of life that we worry about…worry is essentially lack of trust that God is in control and He will do what is best for us.

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joeplemon February 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm

ParisGirl
My guess is that worry is the most common problem we struggle with. It is easy to say, “Trust God” when things are going well, but it is a lot tougher when things aren’t going so well.

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Robert February 20, 2010 at 11:33 am

The quote by RG LeTourneau really struck a chord with me. Thanks for posting such a wonderful and accurate view of “our” money! I have recently been renewed by the Spirit in my walk with Christ, which had been stalled for far too long…..by my own doing, of course. Just a few days of scripture reading with enlighten anyone as to how we are to handle money. Thanks to blogs like yours, I get even further encouragement and support!

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joeplemon February 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Robert,
That quote struck a chord with me as well. One might just shrug it off by saying, “that is easy for a millionaire to say”. But how many millionaires actually do what LeTourneau did? And, the real issue: “What does it say to me?” My wife and I are allowing that quote to sink in deeply, so we can really process what it means to us.

I am thrilled that my blog has given you encouragement and support. Thanks for commenting, and don’t be a stranger. :)

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aram October 14, 2010 at 8:01 am

first thanks for the encouragement,I always think about that god put before money and life ,but believe me some like me no have way to do that I should worry about money to fix my life then I can serve god also ,even I say I will serve god but because I am indept many person’s money were with me how I can answer them when they ask me thier money all they will say to me first pay us back our money then go to serve god!!have many person like me in the world that they wish to life a normal life without any load to stay with his god !!but we have a big problem need some one help us to return again to the life then start again,believe me it’s already two years not sleep well not prey with out thinking about money !!what can I do ???

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aram October 14, 2010 at 8:21 am

Dear brothers that will see my mesage
am so sorry about this interruption!!I know that i mistake when i talk about some things that is not under this website supply and out of ur issues ,but I think it is a good chance to announce about my big problem that i hide it for 2years in mysight and let me think about killing my self because of filling guilty infront of god and peoples,because here I think have many persons that still thier feel are live !!my name is aram ,graduated from medical institute-disable rehabilitation dept.in Iraq ,leave iraq and comes to China because of politics problem with my government !!then the problem is start ..if some one really need to listen am ready to give him about my detail with god support.tanks (aramq2003.yahoo.com)

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manda December 20, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I too struggled with the worry of money over a period of years. When I did this it seemed I was always close to or in overdraft in my account. Just recently I decided to hold true to God’s word of not worrying and placing my faith first and foremost on Him rather than money as I again was getting close to the overdraft mark. Now two months later I have more money in my account than I’ve had in a few years which means I can serve God better by using some of that money for others. I want God to be able to use me freely in this area and I’m grateful for His blessings.

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John Park February 14, 2011 at 12:44 am

I notice that if I try to save money, something always comes up and depletes it. It seems as though God is trying to tell me to put the money to good use instead of hoarding it for my own self. It seems that God is trying to tell me to give those who are in need now. It doesn’t do any good sitting around collecting dust. This is a good faith builder because I know there are going to be times when I need help and God wants to show me that He will take care of my needs. Thank You for the article and God Bless You

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joeplemon February 15, 2011 at 8:15 am

@John,
I agree that you need to be giving to those in need, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be saving at the same time (Proverbs 21:20). Finding the right balance is a challenge. You may want to check this post: When Does Saving Turn to Hoarding?

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Rachel August 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm

At times, it’s so hard to keep our focus off money and keep it on God. God tells us over and over in the Bible how important giving is, and yet, so often we are more concerned with getting more instead of giving more. Great thoughts!

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joeplemon August 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Rachel,
How true. We are citizens of heaven who are living in a world which constantly distracts us from being who God created us to be. Translating what we know into action is, for most of us, a constant struggle. Still, with God’s grace, we can be continually transformed into being more and more of what He wants. I still have a long way to go, but I thank God I am much more generous now than I used to be.

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Wanda Goree July 1, 2012 at 1:08 am

I really realizing that I truly love my God and it has been that way forever. I use to complain that I don’t have any money. But I know that God accepts me for who I am and not for who I am heading to be. I try hard to be patient and wait for what he has in store for me, but it is man who is looking at me, can’t bow down and wait for his power to work. I am rich in his glory and he holds my hand every step of the way. Man does not know what the lord is doing for me right at this moment. He is teaching me. Thank you for the money quiz.

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