Is money your god

Vocation work: what does my heart depend on?

It is the question that ultimately cannot be pushed aside in the world of work, but rather needs to be properly understood. Or do we want to confuse God and money when asked about the all-determining size of life? No, because according to the Bible's image of man, a person has eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to understand (Deuteronomy 29: 3).

In economic and working life, people's activities revolve in some way around goods and services that have to do with costs and prices, with wages and profits. It's about the dear money. We have to be careful: It is not money but God that deserves the greatest attention. This is why the first commandment says, “I am the Lord your God. You shall not have other gods besides me. "

Martin Luther writes about the first commandment in the Great Catechism: “The two belong together, faith and God. What you now, I say, your heart clings to and what you rely on is actually your God ... Some people think that they have enough God and everything when they have money and goods; he relies on it and boasts about it so stiffly and confidently that he doesn't care for anyone. See, such a god also has a god: his name is Mammon, i. H. Money and goods; he puts his whole heart on it. That is also the most general idol on earth. He who has money and goods knows that he is safe, happy and fearless, as if he were sitting in the middle of paradise; and vice versa, whoever has none, doubts and despairs as if he did not know of any God. Because you will find very few people who are of good cheer and neither mourn nor complain if they do not have the mammon; that sticks and hangs on human nature down to the pit. "

With these critical words about the power and fascination of money and goods, one could perhaps lean back and think that my heart is not so attached to the disdainful Mammon that I could be in danger of confusing God and idol. Luther also obviously knows such intellectual excuses and continues in his reflection: "It is the same with someone who trusts and defies the fact that he has great knowledge, wisdom, violence, popularity, friendship and honor. He also has a God, but not this true, sole God. You can see that again in how presumptuous, sure and proud one is because of such goods, and how despondent one is when they are not available or are withdrawn from one. That is why I say again that the correct interpretation of this piece is: To have a God means to have something in which the heart trusts completely. "

We cannot allow ourselves to be represented by any other person in answering the crucial question of how we deal with God and money in our everyday professions. The first commandment, however, gives us an elementary basic orientation. So that we fear, love and trust God above all things.

Source: Karl-Ulrich Gscheidle, Special Issue 2017 “Work from Vocation”, Evang. Association Church - Economy - Working World, Hanover