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Opting Out (Of the Mammon Game)

• Greg Boyd

How do we find freedom from the allure of mammon? In this sermon, Greg offers three practical steps for discovering contentment in God so that we are free from the discontentment that drives the Mammon Game.

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Historically, “mammon” is the name of a powerful deity who uses wealth to destroy people. It has the power to create hunger and discontentment in us, to get us to perpetually want more. Ultimately mammon competes with God for our heart’s devotion.

Because we are called to love God with all of our devotion, we must find practical ways to opt out of the Mammon Game. In this sermon, Greg offers a three-step process for doing just this.

Step 1: Wake up to and acknowledge the extent to which you are steeped in the mammon game and confess this to God. Ask how much of your mental and emotional space, as well as your time, energy, money is spent invested in the Mammon Game. If you find your devotion to mammon outweighs your devotion to God, confess this to God and ask God for help in becoming more devoted to him and less entangled in mammon

Step 2: Find our contentment in God. Since discontentment drives the Mammon Game, we must root our lives in God in order to be set free. This discontentment goes back to the beginning, when the serpent told Eve that there was more to experience outside of the parameters that God set. Instead of being content with what she had, she determined that she was missing out. When she pursued this “more” she experienced discontentment. Her natural inner hunger for God transferred to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

We must seek ways to find our contentment in God. Paul wrote, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7

Paul learned “the secret” of how to be content in all situations whether plenty or hunger, abundance or want. He had inner peace that passes all understanding because he learned how to be content in God. The key here is to learn to pray with thanksgiving. As we are thankful in whatever situation we face, we develop the ability to trust God in the midst of our struggles. When you’re filled with gratitude and contentment, there is no need to chase after the ever-elusive “more” that we can never actually find. Then we are free to invest more mental and emotional space in ways that bless people, advance God’s kingdom and store up treasures in heaven by moving our character in a Christ-like direction.

Step 3: Lighten your load. The less you have of mammon, the less of you mammon has. There is freedom in downsizing. There is a movement called minimalism that challenges people to donate possessions that have not been used in the last year.

These three steps can help us move toward finding contentment in God.

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Topics: Discipleship, Money

Sermon Series: Sermon on the Mount, Treasure Hunters

Downloads & Resources

Audio File
Study guide
Group Study Guide
The MuseCast: April 5

Focus Scripture:

  • Matthew 6:24

    No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

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9 thoughts on “Opting Out (Of the Mammon Game)

  1. Darin says:

    Brother Boyd, consider a 6 month keto or carnivore meal plan. Your back pain may reduce and your inspiration to work on ‘Myth of the Blueprint’ may return. I’m praying for you often and looking forward to reading ‘Myth of the Blueprint’.

  2. Anne says:

    No—- vegan!! I’m not much younger than you; been vegan 15 years; sounds like you just needed a shift as you are doing.

  3. Kevin says:

    I’ve blown up the Church staff’s email addresses with a ‘word from the Lord’ for Greg on his chronic back pain issue and attempted to impress upon him the need to decompress his spine; since the 80’s, I’ve used and recommended “Inversion Therapy”.
    Diet should be part of the treatment, Anne and Darin; of course, though diet alone would not put a bulging disc back into its proper place; for extreme situations like Pastor Boyd’s, spinal decompression is the answer; Thus Sayeth the Lord!

    1. Lorieanne says:

      Thanks; just a vegan here who is as healthy as can be without animal bi-products; maybe see ya’ll tonight for the services. Best,

  4. Rie says:

    I for one (probably not alone) am grateful for all the books you’ve written and clarity of mind you’ve been driven to understand. Money also being an expression of love, and loving one another being a command, am grateful to be able to buy those books and support the awe-inspiring knowledge which has been a part of my transformation. Sure it’s Devine but nothing happens in a vacuum.

  5. Dan says:

    The video file is 6.1GB? That seems unusually large for the sermon mp4 file. *quizzical look* They’re usually in the 3xxMB range. Just sayin’.

    1. Sarah Cassin says:

      Thanks for pointing this out, Dan! We changed a few things up and were trying for high quality, but we realize this file is a bit too large. The video file will be re-uploaded at a more reasonable size later today!
      -Sarah from the Communications Team

  6. Steve says:

    Great sermon. So, sounds like Greg, with all these changes, maybe you’re becoming a little less self-absorbed? Not a bad thing.

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