The Love of Money
"If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
1 Timothy 6:3-10
We've all heard the saying, “Money is the root of all evil” but the Scripture actually says that it is the “LOVE OF MONEY” that is the issue. When we hear this saying, we think of bank robbers, embezzlers, shoplifters, identity thieves, etc.
But the evil done because of money is so much more extensive than that.
For many people, money comes first and people come last. Too many families fight and split over inheritance money. Too many couples divorce over money issues. Too many friendships end because of money borrowed and owed.
It is about the depths of evil that people will stoop, to take away, get a hold of, hold on to and accumulate money, regardless of the damage it causes to others.
Businesses, companies, corporations and their OWNERS give us goods and services in exchange for our money, and most companies follow good business practices. But there are those businesses that make it very clear that their main objective is to make as much money as possible and to guarantee a constant flow of that money into their pockets.
Why is it that products are made of cheaper materials and break down in a couple years? Why is it that the foods we buy contain preservatives, chemicals and toxins that have been PROVEN to be addictive and slowly ruin a person's health? Why are medications that have been PROVEN to cause cancer, heart disease and liver damage STILL on the market? Why is it that insurance companies raise the rates on healthy people BUT deny coverage to the person who actually gets sick? Why are some persons fired from their jobs after 25 years of service right before they are ready to retire and receive their pension? Why are workers in all businesses being let go to be replaced by machines?
Because there is MONEY involved.
Greed is behind each corporation that seeks to make their product cheaper, quicker and more convenient for them and more expensive for us, not to mention they have a responsibility to their shareholders on Wall Street. And whatever you are already paying for, these companies, owners and corporations try to get even more out of you with rates hikes, monthly fees, deadlines, penalties, fine print, gratuities, tolls and price increases while also attempting to pay less to their workers, canceling their benefits or replacing them for younger workers who will work for less.
And so many companies use every method they can to make big profits without being responsible for the consequences of their actions, whether destroying human health, toxic chemicals and industrial waste, air pollution, deforestation, environmental and wildlife destruction, exploitation of foreign workers, child labor, worker injury and suffering, etc.
And why do companies pour money into the campaign funds of politicians? To get tax credits, make laws to protect them and their activities, keep minimum wages low, stop unions and keep deregulation, all to make sure NO LAWS, GOVERNMENTS OR PEOPLE will stop them from doing whatever they have to do...to make and keep their money. There is an unholy marriage between greedy corporation owners and corrupt politicians of the world.
I recently read in the news about a new treatment for dying cancer patients that costs $93,000.00, but extends their lives an average of 4 months, in affect wiping out their bank accounts and taking the very last penny from the dying patient. And how can they actually prove that the patient's life was extended four months? I smell something rotten.
Yes the Love of Money is indeed the root of all kinds of evil. But this is the way of the world.
When Jesus was tempted by the devil, he was offered EVERYTHING.
"Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" - Matthew 4:8-10
The devil offered Jesus the WHOLE WORLD: MONEY, WEALTH AND POWER. Though Jesus rejected the devil, OUR culture has TAKEN him up on that offer.
There are churches today that preach the "Prosperity Gospel". God will bless you with riches if you have the FAITH, in a sense...praying for money, (and giving them your tithes doesn't hurt either). How many of these preachers drive multiple cars, own several homes around the world, have the latest gadgets, wear designer suits, watches and jewelry, and claim that this is how God wants us to live. But that's not what the Bible seems to say.
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." - Matthew 6:24
"...constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain" -1 Timothy 6:5
Jesus, our radical Saviour who healed the sick, helped the poor and welcomed the outcasts of society, was technically homeless with no possessions. And when Jesus encountered a Rich Man who wanted to follow Him, He told the man to sell all he had and give to the poor.
"Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." - Matthew 19:16-24
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Matthew 6:19-21
Even for Christians, money is a huge thorn.
How many Christians attempt to follow Christ in their hearts, yet cheat on their taxes every year? Or obsess about money issues, never really trusting the Lord to provide? And how many Christians hold tight to the purse strings even if it destroys their marriages? Or those who will not allow money to help the family, yet have no problem spending freely on themselves?
Our world is more complicated today. We have bills and financial obligations. We HAVE TO work and use money to survive in this world. But again Money is not the problem. It is the LOVE OF MONEY. It is the relentless pursuit to accumulate more and more for oneself at the expense of everything and anyone else, by whatever means possible, that makes it a sin.
All of society condemns prostitutes for selling their bodies for money, yet how many hard working people devote their hearts, souls AND bodies to their jobs sacrificing their time, energy, creativity and commitment to these jobs, their minds filled with anxiety and stress, all to make more money?
Almost all jobs revolve around helping someone else make money. For most of us, there are no ethical problems and issues at our jobs. But some jobs directly exploit, lie to, reject and prey on weak, vulnerable people. And our employers ask us to use these same unethical tactics to do their work. We wash our hands of it because we reason that we were ordered to do so, but be aware that someone is paying you with money to do their dirty work to make them more money. There are people whose job it is to evict someone, cut off their health benefits, deny their insurance claim, fire someone...FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY.
Accumulating money makes people feel VERY secure. Many will work long hours, overtime and weekends for more and more money at the expense of spending time with their families and friends and even their own health. Many people LIVE TO WORK. They are too busy working for money...to do anything for God. The amount of money they make, defines who they are and holds off their insecurities about the future, at least temporarily. Many people actually believe that if they run out of money....their life will end. Herein lies the reason for their fear: THE LOSS OF CONTROL OF ONE'S DESTINY.
We trust our money to take care of us MORE than we trust in God.
Remember that God never forces Himself on anyone. If you want to put your faith in money to control your own destiny, He will let you. But it is only when you relinquish control of your life to God that He can fully bless and fulfill you more than any amount of money ever could.
We need to reject and break our addiction to money and recognize its stranglehold on our lives and the evil done in pursuit of it. The world is enslaved to the devil because of it. Change your priority away from money to God. God is the one who gives us everything. God blesses us with money to supply our needs, but it is God whom we worship...NOT the money.
Christianity is centered on God and His people. It is about love, faith, healing and goodness. The love of money is centered on one's self only. Use your money for God's work to bless others and God will reward you.
Look at the relationship between you and money. Perhaps it is time to understand what we are supporting when we buy from certain companies. Perhaps it is time to leave an unethical, greedy and exploitive job that ruins people's lives. Perhaps it is time to stop living for the sake of money and living for God.
Ask God to help you change your priorities and dependence on things of this world. Our faith in God is so small, yet our faith in money is so BIG. It all has to change.
1 Timothy 6:8 says, "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."
How far are we from the way the early Christians lived their faith.
Though it may seem like an impossible thing, get off the Money Merry-Go-Round of the world.
Stop worshiping the idol of Money. Trust and seek God and He will reward you with the treasures of your heart and pour MORE BLESSINGS on you than money could ever buy.
© 2010 Edrick
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