Marriage rates are declining. Birth rates are falling. Depression is skyrocketing. Inflation is increasing. The economy is collapsing. Christian faith seems to be disappearing. Life expectancy is falling. Why? How did we get here?
We got here because mammon is the ultimate value and controlling force in our lives. Mammon is fool's gold but we crave it. It's unjust gain and greed but we want it. It's money that's made an end in itself but we accept it. And even though mammon is fools gold, we can't help from buying what it's selling because what it sells us is just so damn addicting.
We know mammon is lying to our faces, and we know it brings unnecessary drama into our lives, but we keep buying what it’s selling. No wonder we're so confused. Fake smiles, fake friends, fake jewelry, fake health, fake wealth, fake happiness, and fake religion. We’ve become fake people living fake lives because we don’t want to see the real truth.
And if we do want the truth for a change we've got to reject what’s fake and walk away from it and go somewhere to hear and learn the brutal truth. We’ve got to listen to the God who punctures all our illusions. But, who wants that? Who wants to buy what God's selling?
No one wants to buy what God’s selling, and that’s why everybody's addicted to something. Whether it's a cup of coffee or pharmaceutical drugs, tv shows or trying to get that money, or just being a jerk to our neighbors. We have too many clothes in our closets. We're too focused on deposits. We're too drunk and too high. We're too dumb, too often.
We don’t have to live this way. We don’t have to buy what mammon is selling. We can appreciate what we have received from God, we can receive it all as free gift, but only when we stop investing in fool's gold; only when we stop buying what mammon is selling; only when we return to the Lord and listen to the God who punctures our illusions.
We don't need to hate what we're not. We don’t need to chase after what we don’t have. We don’t need fake smiles, fake friends, fake jewelry, fake health, fake wealth, fake happiness, and fake religion to dress up our lives with the illusion that they mean something. We can turn around and see the brutal truth about real life, and see how wealthy we actually are if we just stop buying what mammon is selling.
What mammon won't tell us is that more isn't always more. It won't tell us that a dollar figure can’t buy salvation and satisfying life. Mammon won't tell us that, in Christ, we will always hear the brutal truth: less is more, simple is satisfaction, and when we walk with Christ the path through mammon leads to heaven.
But we don't listen. We don't buy what God is selling. We don't want the truth. Instead, we are hypnotized by celebrities. We are exploited by politicians and over-medicated by pharma. We are lied to so often that we don't know ourselves, we don’t know each other, and we don’t know God. We don’t know the brutal truth, and we don’t want to know the brutal truth, and we will demonize anyone who God sends to break through all the lies and fakery to tell us the truth.
We are little boys and girls on the inside who dress up in the masks and costumes mammon sells us to make us look like giants. And in this way, mammon keeps us trying, keeps us weak-minded, keeps us afraid and keeps us crying for more, keeps us at the store shopping for things we don’t need in order to impress people whose opinions don’t matter. Mammon keeps us forgetful, keep us playing scripted roles, and keeps us under control.
So long as mammon keeps us forgetful, keeps us performing like actors in a role, and keeps us under control it doesn't have to worry that we learn God’s honest truth: money doesn't matter; our things won't leave this planet when we go; and that a happy home, a strong marriage, and a close-knit family are built on faith and forgiveness in Christ Jesus, not trying to buy each other’s love.
God’s honest truth is that we will rot while our designer clothes get sold in vintage stores. We think that we need more because mammon has convinced us that we need more, but when we have Jesus Christ, even if he’s all we have, we are complete. He takes care of all our needs, ssbody and soul.
That’s God’s honest truth. It’s the brutal truth. We cannot serve God and mammon. Keep serving mammon and we’ll shop till we drop, but if we hang around his church, God's going to puncture our illusions.
What do we have to lose by trusting in God for our every need?
Jesus Christ gives us the freedom that he died to give us. He gives us the freedom to stop buying the lies, politics, and drama. He gives us a life that was promised to us by our heavenly Father at baptism; truth, freedom, and satisfaction in the midst of a fake world full of fake people buying fake lives.
So let’s be honest with ourselves; it's easy to get caught up in the fakeness of this fake world, consumed by what we consume because the truth is so diluted people are starved off by their confusion. This makes them desperate for comfort, but comfort is a killer, and comfort is our dreams' executioner.
The world's gone crazy and it’s mainly because mammon is lying to us. Is it really a surprise then that we don't know who to trust or what to believe? So then, what do we have to lose by trusting in God for our every need? What do we have to lose by leaning into Jesus, trusting him to care for our body and soul because, as the psalmist warns us: Do not trust in princes or in any son of a man, because they cannot save you. Earthly rulers and anyone born of the flesh cannot save us. So trust Jesus Christ. He’s God. He’s got us. He’s always walked with us and had our backs.
He’s fighting for us, and despite what we may have been told by leaders and cultural influencers, Jesus Christ isn't sitting around waiting for us to leave all the fakery behind and join him. He’s leading a revolution with a resolution. He has led us away from mammon and gathered us into the ark of his Church. In this Church, he is setting sail to higher ground while this poor world drowns in the drama they paid for.
So don’t lose hope and don’t lose heart, because when we die in faith for the God we love, we are not cast aside. Instead, our grave is a watery baptismal grave, and the door into eternal life. And so, here’s the ultimate truth: when we have Jesus Christ, even without anything at all, we are complete because he takes care of all of our needs, body and soul.