Matthew 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.
I do not see myself as a lover of money. I do not obsess over how much I have and I really spend very little time worrying about it. My hypocrisy however, may be revealed in the reality of how focused I am on making money versus how focused I am on serving God.
Jesus says the two are mutually exclusive. I cannot be a servant of both God and money. In my dualistic thinking, I interpret this as a choice only between being a greedy monster or becoming poor myself. The truth is, money itself its not evil. It only becomes evil when it rules over me and I come to serve it. I am to rule money as I am to rule over the other defects of my flesh. I am to be the master of my flesh, not the other way around. So, I can use money of course, I am just not to serve it.
The difference however, is often subtle. How do I know? If I spend more time at my job than I do on my knees in prayer, am I getting it wrong? Do I need to become a pastor so that my time making money is equivalent my time serving God? I think this kind of thinking is again, dualistic and faulty.
It is the orientation of my life, the focus of my gaze, that matters. The measure of whether I am serving money or God does not depend on whether or not I work 40 hours a week in a secular job. I can work a part-time job for minimum wage and still be obsessed with money. I just will not have much of it. Likewise, it is possible to have a lucrative job while serving God.
It is true of course, that if I am following God, He may lead me to a different career. If I feel the pull of God into something different but I refuse because of the paycheck, I am absolutely serving money above God. It is only in putting God above all that everything else falls into its proper place.
Many things in life are not evil in themselves, they just become evil when I elevate them to become my master. Whatever I serve, becomes my god. It can be family, career, possessions or money. Whatever it is, if I choose to find my ultimate meaning in it, it is my god. If my god is not the God, I am setting myself up for disaster.
When I serve money, I serve a poor God. Money, like self, pretends to have my best interest in mind but does not. It may provide temporal satisfaction but in the end leads to destruction as sure as any defect of my flesh nature.
I daily need to make sure that my focus and purpose is on God as my master. He may keep me in the same occupation or He may ask me to do something different. If I am truly serving God instead of money, it will not matter. Everything falls into its proper place only when I put God above all.