No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money. (Matt. 6:24)

THE MUSICAL RENDITION OF Les Misérables includes a song titled “Master of the House,” in which the innkeeper, Monsieur Thénardier, sings about how he cheats and steals from his customers (“Charge ’em for the lice, / extra for the mice, / two percent for looking in the mirror twice!”), but then expects to be toasted and cheered for such behavior. In the musical, the number provides some comic relief, but in real life having a master such as Thénardier would be slavery indeed, no matter how much fun he appears to be.

Those who choose to serve money have also chosen a taskmaster much like the fictional innkeeper. Money promises happiness, friends, and security, and those who have it would likely agree—for a time. But things change after a while. Happiness and fun become more difficult to come by. “Friends” become more demanding, or they get bored and wander off to find someone else to support them. Security grows more elusive as well. How much is enough? What happens if investments sour? What if you’re robbed? No, choosing money as a master is choosing enslavement.

The other option Jesus presented in this passage was to serve God as a master. That choice brings long-lasting joy rather than short-term happiness, true friends who want you to experience God’s best rather than acquaintances who simply flatter you, and the security of knowing that your master is the all-loving, all-wise God of the universe who knows you better than you know yourself. Now that’s a “master of the house” worth serving!

Make God the master of your “house” by offering your most prized possession to Him for His use.

Mary Blackford is a full-time student and freelance editor. She and her husband, Rick, live in Erie, Pennsylvania, with their three dogs.