Each person must choose between God and the world, God and mammon. This is the eternal, unchangeable condition of choice that can never be evaded – no, never in all eternity. No one can say, “God and the world, they are not, after all, so absolutely different. One can combine them both in one choice.” This is to refrain from choosing. When there is a choice between two, then to want to choose both is just to shrink from the choice “to one’s own destruction” (Heb. 10:39) No one can say, “one can choose a little mammon and also God as well.” No, it is presumptuous ridicule of God if someone thinks that only the person who desires great wealth chooses mammon. Alas, the person who insists on having a penny without God, wants to have a penny all for himself. He thereby chooses mammon. A penny is enough, the choice is made, he has chosen mammon: that it is little makes not the slightest difference.
The love of God is hatred of the world and love of the world he hatred of God. This is the colossal point of contention, either love or hate. This is the place where the most terrible fight must be fought. And where is this place? In a person’s innermost being. Whether the struggle is over millions or over a penny it is a matter of loving and preferring God – the most terrible fight is the struggle for the highest. What immeasurable happiness is promised to the one who rightly chooses. If anyone is unable to understand this, the reason is that he is unwilling to accept that God is present in the moment of choice, not in order to watch but in order to be chosen. Therefore, each person must choose. Terrible is the battle, in a person’s innermost being, between God and the world. The crowning risk involved lies in the possession of choice.
-Soren Kierkegaard, in “Provocations” (A free download to Kindle at this link or to order… well worth it.)