Have you ever heard someone quote from the Bible that, “money is the root of all evil?” Does God really oppose riches and want His children to avoid nice homes, cars, and other physical possessions? Is it wrong to seek financial freedom and success?
To start off, let’s check the accuracy of that biblical quote.
1 Timothy 6
7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Money is Paper
Does this passage teach that money is bad? Is money the root of all evil? No. Rather, it is the love of money that is a root of all sorts of evil. Loving anything more than we love God is idolatry, and to do so violates what Christ said was the greatest commandment: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. As the passage above teaches, many foolish men have wandered away from God in the pursuit of their greatest love: money.
So, if loving money is a danger we must be careful to avoid, should we seek to keep our income low and not bother to learn sound financial principles and habits? Some have misquoted and misunderstood Scripture in asserting such ideas, only to find that this foolishness has the opposite effect than what was intended.
Money on Your Mind
Which man spends more time thinking about money, the one who earns plenty and has a large savings account or the one who earns little and lives paycheck to paycheck? All else equal, who places more value on a $100 bill, a man who’s in debt up to his ears or a man who has a $1 million net worth? A rich man may be miserly or generous, and a poor man may love God or love money, but in general the following applies: those with plenty of money make fewer decisions based on money than do those who have little.
How Then Shall We Live?
So, what does this mean for us—the majority between poverty and affluence? How should we live in light of these truths? I see two major lessons: First, always check your heart that you’re loving God more than money (or anything else for that matter). Whether you count yourself rich or not, your heart can be led astray after money, so guard yourself and always see money as a means to serving God, not the other way around. Lesson number two is this: act wisely now in order that your decisions need not revolve around money later. Dave Ramsey says in this way: Live now like no one else so that later, you can live like no one else.
Don’t Be the Joneses
It’s a hard thing to do, saying no to fun trips, activities, and purchases just because “we don’t have the money.” What makes it even harder is that it’s so easy to borrow money on a credit card or finance a big purchase, and this is exactly what our neighbors do. But, if you will make the hard decisions and say no today, the money you save and invest will grow and compound, and one day you’ll reach the position of financial strength and freedom where money no longer drives your decisions. We’ll look forward to seeing you there!