serve two masters

serve two masters

To simultaneously tend to or support or devote oneself to two different—often conflicting—responsibilities, pursuits, ideas, or people. It comes from the Biblical phrase, "No man can serve two masters." You need to decide if you are married to your wife or to your work because you simply cannot serve two masters.
See also: master, serve, two

serve two masters

FORMAL
If a person or organization tries to serve two masters, they try to be loyal to two opposing principles, beliefs or organizations. An organization such as the BBC can either make a profit or provide an excellent public service. It cannot, however, be asked to serve two masters. Note: This expression is used in the Bible. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says: `No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.' (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13)
See also: master, serve, two

serve two masters

take orders from two superiors or follow two conflicting or opposing principles or policies at the same time.
This phrase alludes to the warning given in the Bible against trying to serve both God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24).
See also: master, serve, two

serve two ˈmasters

(usually used in negative sentences) support two opposing parties, principles, etc. at the same time: Government ministers are not allowed to work for private companies as nobody can serve two masters at once.This expression comes from the Bible.
See also: master, serve, two
References in classic literature ?
I've been the slave to my money, and since I can't serve two masters I'm letting the money slide.
But the problem is that if everyone is being honest, a player can't serve two masters in terms of the demands they both want to place on him.
At the American Accounting Association's recent 100th annual meeting and conference, I addressed a topic familiar to CPA Journal readers: Can CPAs serve two masters, the client and the public?
Jim Wallace added: "The simple reality is that the Scottish Labour Party have a split agenda and they cannot serve two masters, it's clear to see.
ME: Some social entrepreneurs, such as microcredit pioneer Muhammad Yunus, argue that companies cannot serve two masters, profit and social good.
No man can serve two masters and no master can serve two people either.
Cahill's priest friends are not superfluous, but they are trying to serve two masters.
I still have faith in the ability of this and future governments to restore this nation, but not while they try to hedge their bets and serve two masters.
I don't want to serve two masters and that is what (the government) is forcing me to do.
In Matthew 6:24, the Bible says "No one can serve two masters.
As it says in the bible, no man can serve two masters.
As Jesus said in a different context, no one can serve two masters.
One politician should not try to serve two masters, so they should only sit in one legislature.
The Emmys are trying to serve two masters right now.