Do we serve God or money?

I guess people will say I am too harsh, but I only see myself as someone who tries to be a true Christian.
And, being a true Christian means being a “radical” Christian.
My question to you is this:

Do you really think you can have a job in the corrupt materialistic capitalist world and serve God at the same time?

Do you really think you can serve money from 9 to 5 and then God after that ?

I know not everyone has the ability to be a true Christian, but it worries me to see that there are so few.

Didn’t Jesus leave his job as a carpenter in order to fulfill his mission ?

If it is so easy to be a true Christian while having a job: wouldn’t St Francis remain in the cloth shop with his father ?

Wouldn’t the apostles be able to to fulfill their mission while they went on fishing ?

All I want to do is for you to ask yourselves these questions.

Interesting questions, but where is the sin though? Perhaps you should read the Catholic Encyclopedia’s article on the Evangelical Counsels (

When the apostles traveled around, they worked at various jobs and trades to support themselves. They did their ministry after work. In addition, there is a biblical quote from the New Testament, that if you are able to work, you must work … that if you don’t work, you don’t eat.

So, in that sense, the material world is not corrupt. You give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. The laborer is worthy of his pay. Not everyone can be a carpenter; some people might be accountants. Some people are truck drivers or teachers. Some people have to work for a whole season or they have to fulfill a contract for a period of time.

If someone is hired to work and then shirks their duties, is that person being corrupt?

Then you get into issues of saving some money for a “rainy day”, when you are not able to work. And that gets a little complicated also. How does someone go about saving his or her money, earned from working hard or working smart. So, all of a sudden, you start out wanting to be a day-laborer-carpenter and then you are trying to figure out how to manage your savings and investments.

What if you need to travel? Will you walk? Or depend on someone else to provide transportation? Will you have enough money to buy a bus ticket or a train ticket or a plane ticket … or will you buy a car?

If Jesus was working today as a carpenter, would He drive a truck, so He could carry His carpentry tools around from job to job? What kind of truck would Jesus drive? And how would He pay for His carpentry tools and for His truck?

Each of us has talents and skills (sometimes developed by education and training) so that we can earn a living.

The world of work can get complicated quickly, but none of those complications means that the world is corrupt.

Here is something to read about the Christian work ethic … Ephesians 4:28

Do you really think you can have a job in the corrupt materialistic capitalist world and serve God at the same time?
Yes, not only do I think it’s possible, but it’s necessary.

Do you really think you can serve money from 9 to 5 and then God after that ?
No, I think one should serve God entirely. Having a job is not “serving money”. If we were in the 14th century, we’d be in the fields the whole day or with the cows and goats. Nowadays we have different jobs, but the goal is the same - to put the food on the table and other necessary things. Also, having a job also makes us apostles among the people we work with and it makes us create a better world if we dedicate our time, talents and patience to what we do.

I know not everyone has the ability to be a true Christian, but it worries me to see that there are so few.
Everyone has the ability of being a true Christian. If someone decides to preach 24/7 it doesn’t mean they are better Christians than those who have other jobs and interests. There are few Christians, but that’s not strange - it is difficult to be one.

Didn’t Jesus leave his job as a carpenter in order to fulfill his mission ?
Yes, he did.

If it is so easy to be a true Christian while having a job: wouldn’t St Francis remain in the cloth shop with his father ?
It’s not easy at all!!! If it were easy, we wouldn’t need the Church, the sacraments, prayer and all other weapons. Saint Francis had a call to leave everything and make a change in his life. We are not all called to do the same things. Not everyone is saint Francis.

Wouldn’t the apostles be able to to fulfill their mission while they went on fishing ?
I don’t think anyone can answer that but God.

All I want to do is for you to ask yourselves these questions.
I would like you to ask yourself this question: if all the Christians in the world decided to leave their jobs and everything and go around and preach, what would the world look like? Don’t you think that medicine, law, economy, education, agronomy etc. need commited Christians?

I guess you don’t have children.
It’s an unkind assumption that people work for the sake of money, end of story.
They work for it to provide food, clothes, medicine, shelter for their families…and most people merely subsist, especially in the current economic conditions.
It would be unChristian to let our children starve,
or die because we can’t afford medical treatment.

Jesus survived in His time of mission because others provided for him.Where did that money come from if not from someone else’s work. During His childhood Jesus survived because Joseph worked.
Jesus didn’t leave His mother to starve or without shelter after His death. He asked John to provide for her. The apostles could not have survived without money from the work of good generous Christians.
Is it Christian to judge others, as you do in your posts? To say that there are few good Christians…that is for God alone to judge. God knows the hearts and souls of others.
I don’t think we can make judgemental generalizations about others without being less Christian ourselves, and I believe, and have experienced, numerous true Christians. I hope that you will come to find more of God’s Spirit in others…because it is there in so many people. :slight_smile:

Judge you, my brother?
God, eternity waits for those who live the gospel to truly share in Your delight in each person. With You, we will rejoice in everyone who accepts Christ’s invitation to follow Him with prayer, penance and generosity!

How profound is the giving required by that person, and this! What happiness, what anguish is known there! What temptation is encountered! What sensitivities enfeeble or enrich and sanctify that life! How great is Your glory in the strange or ordinary facts and struggles of their existence! Yet, how can we know?

We err in applying rules of private interpretation to another’s intention or act, except as feeble measure for our compassion and charity. Only by one’s private consciousness—unless enlightened by Your Spirit of love—can each see what lies in another’s soul.

Each person is a unique expression of Your love, an individual world, some great, and some miniature, separate in existence and consciousness, yet united in You. Yet how quickly do we judge each other! We offer You our hurt and theirs in prayer for healing and forgiveness.

Let us not belittle or betray, in thought, or by gossip—the seemingly sinful, the apparently misled or foolish, the ugly, the crippled in mind or spirit. Let us celebrate their preciousness in You. Let us no longer sin against Your sacred love and creation in anyone by our judgements however seemingly justified.

Let Your Holy Spirit know and love each other person through us, with sensitivity to their emerging needs. Give us compassion for each other, however perplexed or inaccurate our perception, so that we revere each other—and ourselves—as individuals sacred to You.

Through Your Spirit, we can offer appreciation, justice and love to each other as we wait humbly on the full vision of Your meaning, purpose, and love of each person, in the final translation that follows death. Let us serve and intercede for each other person as loved child of God, in glad, trusting welcome.

Prayer for understanding of others

Jesus, please open us to receive each other with love, so that we no longer betray God’s Love that re-creates us in each moment of life. Reveal to us our sins against charity, and heal us of fears and prejudices that lead to judgement of others.

How easily even the generous Christian reduces others to categories, judging them with unconscious pride and lack of empathy! How carelessly, with convincing appraisal and bias, we dismiss others in their seeming sin, error or foolishness. How often we misjudge them in their difficulties and achievements, and underestimate their intrinsic worth as persons!

Jesus, please forgive us that we presume to deal uncharitably with anyone! Each person is Your own creation lovingly spoken out of Yourself in the private language of love chosen for each alone! No matter how different from one’s own character or journey, the path and meaning of each person is treasured mystery hidden within You!

Let us share in Your love for others, rejoicing in Your image within them whether evident or not. Let us reverence our dissimilarity and their individuality. Let us be respectful and discreet in our helpfulness. Have mercy on our prayer and goodwill for them, so that we may love them with Your Love. Jesus, I am so sorry for the times I fail to love others wisely and respectfully.

Judgement of others

Jesus, please alert us when we are tempted to judge other people. Our judgements may be based on another’s opinion, on flimsy evidence or on past observations, without full knowledge of someone’s situation and nature. Even if others appear to blatantly sin, we cannot judge them according to Your vision. Please give us grace to extend impartiality and compassion to all others, friend, foe or stranger.

We cannot know others’ motivations or all the influences affecting them, so we have doubtless misjudged others more frequently than we realise. Give us grace to avoid unkind or scandalous gossip.

Enlighten those who see a few incidents or an isolated occurrence or appearance, even from years past, and then presume to make a permanent judgement like “he always does this.” “She always is like that.” “He is that sort of person.” How unjust to judge others in this way! Even if former perceptions happen to be accurate, who can judge that any person has not advanced in wisdom or grace!

If we defend victims of misjudgement, some accusers reconsider their opinion, while others cling to prejudice. Some people believe that their subjective view of people, reality, and events is the only valid one; therefore, we cannot expect them to be open to contrary evidence or testimony. They honestly believe that their judgements are correct. They seem not to be fully responsible for the injustice of their viewpoints.

We cannot judge even these people for perhaps they suffer from personal insecurity or desire for ascendancy over others, due to immaturity or low self-esteem. Their lack of respect and compassion may be hurtful to someone we love or respect, but let us respond with Christian maturity, without besmirching their reputations. Please expand their mental and emotional maturity so that with just and empathetic understanding of others, they—and we—may make reparation for the reputation and welfare of anyone who has been maligned or misjudged.

We trust in Your love to pardon us and to greatly bless anyone we have sinned against by judgement or unkindness. Jesus, help us truly to love our sisters and brothers, whether or not we understand them. October 1999

Appreciating others

Jesus, I honour others for their goodness. Yet, help me to share Your compassion, respect and delight in those who seem (to themselves or others)to reflect Your face poorly. Grant me the gift of conveying to each person, the beautiful, glimpsed vision of self, as You love him or her, a fallible human with entwined faults and virtues.

One sometimes glimpses another’s discouraged self-judgement, for he fears that Your plan of salvation builds upon some unlikely ‘ideal self’. He perhaps hopes that to others, only the good is evident. He fears that were others to sense the extent of his unworthiness, they may reject him—as indeed he fears You may.

Jesus, please extend Your hand to him through those who see his efforts and who have faith in the secret, unique miracle of him. Let him know that You love him as he is, and that You plan his holiness around his actual self. You fulfil Your dream of him and serve others through his flawed personality with its abilities, gifts and virtues, along with its faults and scars. Assure him that his efforts to live the Gospel are more precious because of his temptations and flaws, so that he is encouraged to faith and self-acceptance.

God let me see and share Your beautiful, unique, creative vision of each brother and sister, regardless of ‘apparent’ flaws. In my warm acceptance of him grant to each person that restoring, blossoming fruitfulness of love—which the image of him cherished and accepted as he really is—produces in the most barren and bleak heart.

My brother, “Do not be afraid, you will not be put to shame.” [Isaiah 54:4]

Really, I will never stop marvelling at the human mind.
Especially the thoughts that come out when one wants to justify himself.

I am not sure what you are getting at here. You have given your personal opinion, but can you back it up with Church doctrine? Are there people who are called into a higher service to the Lord? Yes: Priests and Brothers/Sisters.

I feel a desire to serve the Church as a Priest, so thus I will not be working for worldly interest as it were, although I will still be getting paid (if I am a secular/diocesan priest, then I receive a salary plus certain living expenses covered *; if I go the religious priest route, then, although not paid a salary, I am paid in kind since all living expenses are covered and I assume I would receive some spending allowances).

I do not think St. Joseph (the adoptive father of Our Lord) quit his carpentry job and Scripture states that Joseph of Arimathea was quite wealthy and on an important Jewish council (possibly the Sanhedrin according to some legend/traditions).

Again, did you read that article on the Evangelical Counsels?*

Thistle, as you have seen I avoid answering your insults.
Except for this time:
Maybe I need help. You, you are beyond it.

The rich young man asked Jesus what he needed to do to earn eternal life.
Respect the Commandments, answered Jesus.
I have always done that, replied the rich young man.
Then, Jesus added, sell all you have, give it to the poor and follow me.

Do you get it now?

Jesus said to the rich young ruler, “If thou wilt be perfect…” (Matthew 19:21). And again, did you read the article from the Catholic Encyclopedia on the Evangelical Counsels? You are arguing like a Protestant, coming up with your own interpretations of Scripture without consulting what the Church says on the matter.

Now, can you find Church documents backing up your claims on these matters?

Also, what does the OP mean by a “true Christian”? If he means one who is in a state of grace (and, thus, if they died, would enter into Heaven, with or without a detour through Purgatory), then that would, under normal circumstances, entail:

  1. Validly Baptized
  2. Validly Confirmed and having received First Communion (if an adult and of Confirmable age)
  3. Obedient to the precepts of the Church, including the moral law, but also attending Mass every Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation, as well as fulfilling all required days of fast and abstinence
  4. Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation at anytime they are are in a state of mortal sin

Benedict, sorry if my saying you were arguing “like a Protestant” was offensive, but I was trying to show the fallacy of your method of argument. Instead of turning to what Church doctrine states, you were taking Scripture verses and trying to interpret them yourself and then claim that these interpretations are correct and, thus, should be followed as though it were doctrine.

How does that support your premise?

Simple answer is YES. How shall God be introduced inot the "materialistic world if not through Christians interacting there? How can souls be saved it we withdraw from the battleground which is in the secular world?

Do you really think you can serve money from 9 to 5 and then God after that ?

Why do you presume that working for a living is “serving money”. Money, like any other thing is no more than a tool shich serves it’s masters wishes. If a person loves the things of this world, then money helps him in his acts of self gratification. If a person loves the things of God’s world, then money helps him in his acts of Charity.

I know not everyone has the ability to be a true Christian, but it worries me to see that there are so few.

The Road is Narrow and few find it. Plus we all fall short of the Glory of God and therefore we hope in the Mercy of God to make up what we lack.
Also, since we cannot see into each others hearts, and even less so on the internet, we cannot know who are the “real christians”.

Didn’t Jesus leave his job as a carpenter in order to fulfill his mission ?

If it is so easy to be a true Christian while having a job: wouldn’t St Francis remain in the cloth shop with his father ?

Wouldn’t the apostles be able to to fulfill their mission while they went on fishing ?

All I want to do is for you to ask yourselves these questions.

In each point you mention the word “mission”. Many people have the “mission” of raising families. Should each of these then “leave their job”?
God calls us to where we need to be. Hopefully we ar open to his will.

Sorry to see on another thread that you are leaving us Ben…

May God go with you.


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