November 6, 2021 - Divided Hearts - A Reflection on Luke 16:9-15

I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

A scribe once asked Jesus. What is the greatest commandment? Jesus answered: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (See Mark 12:28-34). We are told to love God with all our being because we cannot serve two masters; one will dominate the other. 

Our attachment to money is usually an excellent indicator of our relationship with God. The more attached we are to money, the less attached we are to God. And if we can’t be easily parted from our wealth, it is a good sign that our faith in God is slim, regardless of how much we might profess the contrary. And see how miserable we are as a result. 

But it isn’t just an attachment to money that indicates a divided heart. Any attachment to anybody or anything reveals a heart that is divided. And division causes pain. Take a moment to think about this. “But isn’t this normal?” you might ask. “To be attached to people and things?” Yes, in the worldly perspective, but when it comes to God, it must be all him because that is the secret to abundant life. 

Paul had learned this secret. In his letter to the Philippians, he wrote: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:12b). What is the secret? How can we always be content? He tells us. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). It is in total and complete dependence on Christ. 

Paul had died to himself and all the desire that would divide his heart. As he states in his letter to the Galatians: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). We can achieve this too by dying to ourselves daily, letting go little by little of every attachment we have to the things of the world until we are wholly his. 

Let us try it and see how the entire texture of our life changes.