I need to be reminded of this.
I came across this quote a couple years ago while reading Richard Foster's Money, Sex, and Power. I re-discovered it today. It's still true.
Discussions of stewardship, almost without exception, view money as completely neutral and depersonalized. It is merely "a medium of exchange," as we say. God has given us money to use, to administer, to put into service, goes the teaching. And so the emphasis is always placed upon the best use, the proper stewardship, of the resources God has entrusted to us.
What all this talk about stewardship fails to see is that money is not just a neutral medium of exchange but a "power" with a life of its own. And very often it is a "power" that is demonic in character. As long as we think of money in impersonal terms alone, no moral problems exist aside from the proper use of it. But when we begin to take seriously the biblical perspective that money is animated and energized by "powers," then our relationship to money is filled with moral consequence....
... When Jesus uses the Aramaic term mammon to refer to wealth, he is giving it a personal and spiritual character. When he declares, "You cannot serve God and mammon" (Matt. 6:24), he is personifying mammon as a rival god. In saying this, Jesus is making it unmistakably clear that money is not some impersonal medium of exchange. Money is not something that is morally neutral, a resource to be used in good or bad ways depending solely upon our attitude toward it. Mammon is a power that seeks to dominate us
When the Bible refers to money as a power, it does not mean something vague or impersonal. Nor does it mean power in the sense we mean when we speak, for example, of "purchasing power." No, according to Jesus and all the writers of the New Testament, behind money are very real spiritual forces that energize it and give it a life of its own. Hence, money is an active agent; it is a law unto itself; and it is capable of inspiring devotion.....
... [T]he thing I failed to see, and the thing that Jesus saw so clearly, is the way in which mammon makes a bid for our hearts. Mammon asks for our allegiance in a way that sucks the milk of human kindness out of our very being.