“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matthew 6:24 CEB)

On a fishing trip several years ago, I was determined to be the master of the fish. I had decided that catching more fish than my colleagues would absolutely make my day. With an idea of what bait would work best, I sought out that one big catch (and I kept my plan to myself).

I cast the lure perfectly into a small cove and began to work the big topwater plug back to my boat. Suddenly, there was a big explosion, and the fight was on. This was The One. Exactly what I needed. Finally, I got the fish to the boat. I had conquered that fish! And then, as I swung it around to disengage the hook, the fish flopped violently and drove the rear treble hook deep into my exposed thigh. Each time it flopped, blood would run and the pain shot up my leg. What was I, Master of the Fish, to do?

Quickly I realized that I could not control the hook as long as the fish was attached. So I unhooked the fish and discarded it. I could finally take care of the mess I was in. With a lot of gritting of my teeth, I removed the hook and fell back on the boat, exhausted and defeated.

In my furious pursuit to get the fish, the fish wound up getting me! The world is constantly promising us that if we can only get more money, more fame, or more control, then we will be free. These things then quickly become our master. It is only when we learn how to disengage from our stuff that we become truly free to serve the One who created us. Generosity gives freedom and new life. Unhook yourself today!

~J. Clif Christopher

Do you ever have moments where you wonder, “Am I master of all my stuff, or is my stuff the master of me?” Can you write about it?

In your journal, create a personal inventory of people and things you hold dear. Now ask yourself and make a note of anything or anyone who has you hooked. Revisit this list during the week, asking for God’s guidance and wisdom.

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