Tag Archives: doing things for money

Competing Loyalties

Story of the Day for Saturday December 10, 2011

Competing Loyalties


                     No servant is able to serve two masters. He’ll hate the one and love the other, or he’ll be devoted to the one and despise the other. You can’t serve God and money. 

                                                                                                 Luke 16:13

Those who value love tend to prosper in mental health and human relations. Intriguingly, however, those who value money, but not family, also suffer little mental or emotional stress.

“People’s mental health,” a psychological study (Burroughs & Rindfleisch, 2002) concluded, “is harmed when they value both family relationships and the possession of material objects, because the two values conflict and cause mental stress.


Money is a good thing. But when we try to combine priorities of both money and relationships, it doesn’t work.

If someone accidentally spilled a handful of pencils in front of you, would you help pick them up? Professors Kathleen Vohs, Nicole Mead, and Miranda Goode, performed this experiment. These researchers found that if the participants had just finished playing the board game Monopoly, they were less likely to help pick up the pencils.

Vohs, Mead, and Goode then gave participants two dollars in quarters. Later, they were given the opportunity to donate to the University Student Fund. Those participants who had been given tasks thinking about money gave 39 percent of their money. Those who hadn’t been focused on money gave 67 percent.


Money isn’t bad. Would you work your tail off at a fast food restaurant if they paid you by giving you a hug at the end of each year?

Jesus doesn’t condemn money; he just wants us to know where our heart lies. If our priorities are caught between service to God and money, our loves will tear us apart.


Switzerland gets about forty percent of its electricity from nuclear power. That means, of course, that they must find a place to store the radioactive waste. When the Swiss were asked if they were willing to allow a nuclear waste dump to be built near their town, surprisingly, half of the citizens said, “Yes.” They knew the property values on their homes would go down, but they felt it wasn’t right to expect other communities to bear a burden they were unwilling to share in.

Then, in order to increase the percentage of citizens willing to allow a nuclear waste site in their area, they sweetened the deal. They offered a financial reward. Would they be willing to have a waste disposal site built in their community if they were paid an annual salary worth six weeks wages?

Instead of half the citizens agreeing to the proposal, the offer of money caused the percentage of willing Swiss to drop to twenty-five percent.


You can do things because it’s the right thing to do. You can do things for money. You just can’t operate well with competing loyalties.

                                                   (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)