Master or Be Mastered (2 of 3) by Roger Thomas
This content is part of a series.Master or Be Mastered (2 of 3)
Series: Debt Free Living
People will do some crazy things for money. Jay Gwatley probably takes the cake. In the late 1970's a Chicago radio station asked listeners to come up with the most outlandish way to win a $10,000 prize. Over 6,000 people responded. You can imagine some of the proposals.
Nineteen-year-old Jay Gwatley, a Zionsville, Indiana native, won. His stunt earned him the $10,000 and a place in Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. To get the money, Gwatley ate an 11-foot birch sapling, leaves, roots, bark and all. It wasn't as bad as it sounds. He did use French dressing on his birch salad. He donned a tuxedo and sat at a table eloquently set with fine china, sterling silver, and a pair of pruning shears. According to Ripley's version, Gwatley finished off the nearly 5 inch diameter tree in a little over 89 hours spread out over several days. Asked about his experience, he said, "For a tree it wasn't bad." He did complain of a slight upset stomach afterwards (Campus Life, Dec 1980, p. 19).
Think it sounds crazy to eat a tree for $10,000? Some people have sacrificed their families, their futures, and their faith for far less. Note Jesus' startling statement in our text. "You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve God and Money." He didn't say, "You shouldn't." He said, "You can't." He put the issue in either/or terms. He warned that the wrong regard for money will steal our hearts, destroy our vision, and enslave our wills.
Mark Twain knew this passage of scripture. Once, while lecturing in Utah, Mark Twain got into an argument with a Mormon on the subject of polygamy. The Mormon challenged Twain, "Can you find a single passage of Scripture that forbids polygamy?" Never at a loss for words, Twain replied, "Certainly, no man can serve two masters." That's not exactly the point of the passage.
The term translated money is an interesting one. Some ...
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