Want to Change the World? Start Here!

By Dr. Scott Rodin    

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 (Matthew 6:24).

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them (1 John 2:15).

Let me open with a bold statement: if followers of Jesus took these two Bible verses to heart, we would radically change the face of Christianity. Jesus minces no words. He sets up our love and devotion to money as a rival deity. There is no other place in scripture where Jesus makes this kind of challenge. It is only with our love and devotion to money and material possessions that Jesus deals so harshly. Love and hate, devotion and despising—powerful words.

The apostle John builds on these words and tells us directly that we have a choice between loving the world and loving God. There is no compromise, no middle position. The love of one makes the love of the other impossible. As steward leaders we stand at this crossroads in almost every decision we make with and for our organization. Whom do we really love? To whom are we truly devoted? By what has our heart been captivated? And how is this evidenced in our daily schedules, our budget priorities, our investment policies, and the disposition of our hearts?

If you wonder what it might mean to love the world, let me share some powerful words from my friend and colleague Jay Link, who writes of the following “caution lights” that should cause us to stop and take notice.

Caution Light #1

We are falling in love with the world…when we are never quite satisfied with what we have [Ecclesiastes 5:10; 6:7].

Caution Light #2

We are falling in love with the world…when the things we own end up owning us [Matthew 6:24; 2 Timothy 4:10; Luke 12:15].

Caution Light #3

We are falling in love with the world…when worry about losing our things is disrupting our inner peace [Philippians 4:1112; Hebrews 13:5].

Caution Light #4

We are falling in love with the world…when our longing to be there is diminished by our affection for what we have here [2 Corinthians 5:8; Matthew 13:22]. [1]

So, consider this: every decision you make as a leader is a decision about lordship. No matter how big or how small, all leadership decisions are guided by a previous decision we have made about who is truly Lord in our organization—whom we really love and what values will drive us. If you love God, you will hate the power that money seeks to have over you. If you love God, you will reject the temptation to love the things of this world. What do the decisions you’ve made as a leader over the last week tell you about who you love and serve? Both God and the power of money will demand our loyalty and allegiance. Which one is your true Lord?

I challenge you to read the scriptures that Jay used to support these caution lights. Be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and see if any of these four lights turn on when you consider the way you lead. Can you construct your own list of signs that you love the things of this world? This is a great exercise for a leadership team or a board. Set aside an hour of a board or staff meeting to talk about this issue. Write down the things that you all agree are indicators of your love for the world. Then make a commitment together to pray against these things, asking God to drive out of your hearts any love or devotion for anything other than Him. It is a supreme act of a steward leader and may just transform you, your team or your board.

Excerpted from Steward Leader Meditations, R. Scott Rodin, Kingdom Life Publishing 2016. Order the full 50 meditations at www.kingdomlifepublishing.com

[1] Jay Link, Do You “Love the World?” (Mooresville, IN: Kardia Planning, n.d.), http://www.ministrywatch.com/pdf/DoYouLovetheWorld.pdf.

Dr. Scott Rodin    

Dr. Rodin is the Founder and Content Expert of the Center for Steward Leader Studies. He also serves as President of Kingdom Life Publishing and Rodin Consulting Inc.

Get Weekly Inspiration & a Free eBook!

Become a member of The Steward's Journey community to get every article and resource we publish delivered to your inbox. We'll also throw in a free resource, Three-Dimensional Discipleship, to show you how to rise above the ordinary to live in genuine freedom and deep joy!

Join Now!

Leave a comment: