"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth."Luke 16:13(NASB)
Elijah once challenged Israel: how long will you hesitate between two opinions, and James warned Christians that an indecisive and double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
It was Christ Himself Who taught that no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other.
Conflict of interest enters-in when there are two opposing loyalties - and the inevitable result is that greater allegiance, love, loyalty and devotion is given to one party, which takes far greater precedence over the other.. to the point where one trumps the other. Yes, Jesus Himself warned that you cannot serve God and wealth.
Jesus was teaching some important truths to His disciples about wealth and stewardship, honesty and virtue.. but His instructions were overheard by the Scribes and Pharisees, who were lovers of money and haters of the Lord Jesus.
And although they had a form of godliness these leaders of the Jews were greedy swindlers, religious hypocrites and dishonest cheats. They were ungodly and unprincipled men, who gave lip-service to God, while secretly lusting after the things of this world. They were blind leaders of the blind and their lives reflected the opposite of the godly man or woman, who is walking in spirit and truth.
Money is a good servant but a bad master and Jesus needed to point out that it is impossible to live for God if our priorities are focused on something or someone else. The man or woman who is serving God cannot serve another master - whether it be money or anything else upon which we place our trust.
The accumulation of wealth and trusting in ones own bank balance is too often the thing that is most frequently substituted for faith in God and trust in His never-failing supply. Indeed we are called to lay up treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not spoil and where thieves do not break through and steal.. but Christ's warning to these disciples must ring through our ears and convict our hearts - that no one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other for we cannot serve God and money.
Let us love the Lord our God with all or heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength.. and look to Jesus, Who has promised to supply all we need, according to His riches in glory.
Heavenly Father, keep me from ungodly and unprincipled thinking. Keep the eyes of my heart looking to Jesus for my provision and protection and prevent me I pray from looking to my own bank-balance or any other source of supply for my security. May I have an undivided heart that looks to Jesus the Author and Finisher of my faith.. and in Whose name I pray, AMEN.