Distracted Maturity: Divided Loyalties
As we begin to evaluate the fundamental issues of our distracted generation, we have to dig deep. Looking into the cracks and crevices of our motivations, to find the underlying reasons for our daily life choices. Make no mistake, every action (or inaction) taken is the result of a choice. Those choices perpetuate habits, fulfill scheduled plans/obligations, or decide our respond to unplanned interjections in life. In an effort to make these choices easier, we have developed swaths of technology that, as we discussed last week, have produced an irony. That all of the efforts to connect us, make us more efficient, and keep us informed, have now made us more disconnected, less efficient, and less informed, maybe even, than ever before.
In one of the longest recorded messages of Christ's earthly ministry, Jesus introduces a deliberate dilemma that surgically separates the layers of motivation and outward action, revealing the true substance of our daily life choices. In Matthew six Jesus establishes a baseline in verse 21,
"for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Treasure...many misunderstand this term. It is true that it is made up of what would be defined as things that we attribute much value (money, time, and energy), but it goes deeper than that. When Jesus make this statement, He is pointing to how, or in what, we invest those items held so dear. This is why, just a few verses later, He proclaims the truth that our loyalties can only rest in one place. The pursuit of God, or the pursuit of wealth and comfort.*
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON." - Matt. 6v24
The choice of words here are convicting:
hate (to detest)...love (to be content with and love dearly);
hold to (to adhese oneself to) ....despise (to think little of; avoid;become distant); serve (to obey;submit to).
Each word and phrase plunging, ever deeper, to the secret deposits of our motivations.
As we think of being distracted in our maturity, we must look at to who, or what, holds our devotions. Are we so in awe, and in love, with Christ, that we cannot help but to be content with our walk with Him, wherever it might take us? Willing to serve how, and where, He directs us to serve, love as He demonstrated to love, give as he determines we should give? If we live for mammon (material prosperity and comfort) however, we will find that we will detest the thought of serving others, loving the unlovable, and giving obediently or sacrificially. We will become distant from the Lord personally, and find ourselves reaching for excuses to not meet faithfully with our local church body.
How does this look? It is when I fail to make time for God, but expect God to prioritize my time, needs and wants. It is when we take extra hours at work, verses being involved in the ministries of our home, and the church. It is when we only fellowship with those that "click" with us, or who can benefit us substantively. It is when the budget doesn't "allow" us to tithe in obedience, or give out of love for Christ and compassion for others.
So where are your loyalties today? Have you pledged allegiance to mammon, or have you committed each day to the pursuit of God. To live like the apostle, as he cried out:
"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;" - Philippians 3v8-10
*(Jesus gives and example of this in Luke 12v15-21)
Matthew 6v19-34 KJV
 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness!  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.