I’m almost amused when people, especially people who don’t read the Bible, like to say what’s in it. Like “an eye for an eye” (taken out of context) or “money is the root of all evil”. Or even better, when Hollywood does their own interpretation of scripture, and people believe it’s the true gospel.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
I assert this is one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible.
How many times have we heard someone say, “Money is the root of all evil”? Money is not evil. Actually, we require money for everyday necessities. Food, clothing, shelter, etc. would all be impossible to obtain without some sort of money (in our society).
The love of money. That’s the problem. When we value our money above anything else. When our job (any source of work for pay) comes before our families, when we no longer give back our first fruits, and when we manage our money poorly we let the love of money guide our lives.
God knows we have to work to provide.
“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
But here’s what we cannot do: let a job, or source of income, interfere with the rest of our lives. While we do have to work to provide, what we cannot do is let that work come before God. And family. When we chase the “almighty dollar” the rest of our lives can fall apart quickly. We cannot let the love of a paycheck motivate us.
But our first fruits are His.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10)
“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:” (Proverbs 3:9)
We always have to remember everything already belongs to God. His hand moves in our lives every day. Ultimately, He is our provider (Genesis 22:14). So we cannot allow the love of money to come between us and God.
Holding onto what actually belongs to God is dangerous. When we hold our money, rather than giving it back to Him, we begin walking a fine line of Him not being a priority in our lives. It seems what we spend our money on is what we care about.
We also have to properly manage what we’re given.
Jesus uses the parable in Luke 16:1-13 of the unrighteous steward. If we cannot be faithful of a little, how can we handle a lot? We’ve become so accustomed to a certain way of life that we throw regard to the wind when it comes to spending. (Side note: this part is hard for me to write because I know I’ve made poor money choices. And I’m suffering the consequences. You can see a little more about that here.)
We think of loving money and we don’t always think of what all that entails. Sometimes it’s the status money buys. But for most of us regular Joes, it’s what we can buy with that dollar. A symbol to the world. Or even just gratification from something material. And before we know it, our habits are out of control and we have too much debt.
And we aren’t giving enough.
Money is not the root of evil, our love for it is.
What we do with money. How we spend it. How hard we work for it. What we’re willing to sacrifice to get it.
Think about it: someone working too much solely for money (hear me, I am NOT talking about someone working a lot of hours to make ends meet!) and sacrificing their relationship with God starts to stray.
Those who do not recognize God as their provider might not see the need for Him in their lives, turning to other things to satisfy.
Someone spending money poorly probably isn’t happy with what they have, and also are not giving back like they should.
So it’s not evil, per se, to work. Or to spend. Or to not donate it all. But here’s what happens: these doors lead down paths farther away from Jesus. Instead of seeing God as our provider, we start to depend on ourselves. Or we become envious of what others have. Possibly, we quit reaching out to others and helping the poor and the widow as instructed.
Give Up the Love of Money.
Give up the control you think you have over finances. If you’re anything like me, we think we can somehow “fix” our financial problems. I’ve come to realize what I need instead is to give them to God. I let God take control of my money. And when that happens, I find more getting done.
When I tithe on time, give back to Him FIRST, the rest of the paycheck tends to go a little further. When my husband and I pray about what we should do to earn an income, rather than follow the dollar, we seem to be overall happier in our lives.
Not chasing money, but giving God control of everything, makes all the difference.