Is Money Really the Root of All Evil?

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We’ve all heard the saying, “Money is the root of all evil.”

I called it a “saying” because that line is inaccurate. That’s actually a misquote, but… people say it.

Just for fun, whenever I hear people say that line, (which is quite often) I’ll ask them if they know where in the Bible that line is found.

100% of the people I’ve asked, do not know.

Literally, no one has ever been able to tell me what scripture they’re specifically quoting.

The scripture they’re attempting to quote  is located in 1 Timothy 6:10, and it actually reads: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (NKJV)

Let’s take a quick look at this scripture. Notice the details, which are very important here:

It’s the LOVE of money that is A root (not THE root) of all kinds of evil. For which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, (their coveting, or craving for money) and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  (They did it to themselves.)

And I’ll even throw in a bonus, the original word there “pierced” is translated from the Greek word peripeirō – which means: to torture one’s soul with many sorrows. It also references the thought of piercing an animal with a spit, and cooking it over flames. (VERY interesting…)

Okay, are we clear here?

Loving money is the issue. Not having money, but loving it.

When we hear this scripture, it’s easy to think, “Okay, I’m good. I don’t LOVE money, sure I like it a lot, but I’m not greedy, and I don’t love it more than my faith.”

What is loving money?

One definition of love (in regards to an object or thing) is this: “to have a great attachment to and affection for.”

Another is: “to like or desire actively, take pleasure in.”

But perhaps my favorite definition of love, in this context, is simply “to prefer” something.

Such as the truth that I prefer my wife to anyone else. I give her preferential treatment.  She is special and important to me, so I choose her above other things and before other things.

When it comes down to two choices, I pick her.

You tracking with me?

Now if you were to ask the average Christian, “Do you LOVE money?” They’d respond with “No, of course not.”

But here is where the devil tries to deceive us.

The problem is, we don’t know what “loving money” looks like in real life.

evil money 2

(How we view the love of money)

 

We picture people who “love money” almost like a cartoon character who rolls around on a pile of money, and cheats, and lies, and steals to get it. But that’s not really what it looks like.

If we don’t examine ourselves and our motives, then we can end up piercing ourselves through, and torturing our souls with many sorrows, and not even realize how or why.

Consider this scenario:

I’m not sure I could even count how many times I’ve had this conversation with another Christian:

I’ll run into an old church friend that I haven’t seen in a long time, and I’ll say, “Hey man, how have you been?”

Guy: Good, just busy man, working working, you know how it is.

Me: Oh cool, where are you going to church these days?

Guy: Well, I’m not really going anywhere right now, my job has got me working so many hours, Sundays too, but you know – gotta pay the bills right!

In his mind, he is completely justified in his thinking.  It’s an understandable situation right?

No big deal.

Let’s look at his mental process, he’s thinking: To live, I have to pay bills, that requires money, I must work to acquire money, if that means I have to miss church to acquire money, then that’s okay, because I must have money to live, eat, pay rent, and take care of my family.

Makes sense right? Completely justified. After all, he is supposed to be the “provider.”

BUT, I want you to see this for what it really is:

This man, PREFERS, he gives preferential treatment, he puts above other things, acquiring money.

He prefers the acquiring of money, over going to church.

He actively desires pursuing money OVER going to church.

He believes that there is more value in being at work, than being in church. The “return on investment” by going to work has a more valuable payoff than the ROI of going to church.

When it came down to two choices, he picked money.

I remember another incident in particular when an old friend I hadn’t seen in about 8 years, came back to church one Sunday night. Over the years he had quit coming to church because he had been “so busy with work.”

With tears in his eyes, he informed me that he and his wife were on the verge of divorce, she had cheated on him, they were financially broke, he was depressed, and he had bills due.  We spoke about 30 minutes, he’d had a rough couple of years.

I encouraged him, telling him he was at the right place, that he was right where he needed to be, in God’s house, sitting under God’s word. I told him keep coming, we’ll get your life turned around.

As we parted, I said, “Hey, it was really great seeing you man, I’ll see you Wednesday night at service then?”

He quickly responded, “Well, no not Wednesday, I’m starting a new job and I gotta work.”

Looking him in the eyes, I replied very directly, “Your life is in ruins right now, you need to be here at church, sitting under God’s word.”

He replied with a chuckle, almost indicating he thought I was the one lacking common sense, “Well Trav, going to church won’t put a roof over me and family’s head.”

I never saw him again.

A high school kid, only 15 years old was on drugs and heading for disaster. He got his life turned around at a youth group.

He got connected, started coming early, become one of the core kids. But then quickly got a job at a grocery store that had him working Wednesdays and weekends.

Now all of a sudden the thing that saved his life (church) was not as important as a paycheck.

We see this routine in people of all ages. It’s probably even more common in older adults with several kids who have a mortgage, car loans and school debt.

 The Results

No matter the situation, when money is preferred, I see the same results over and over again:

When things get really bad, when they reach rock bottom, they eventually do come back to church, busted, down, and still broke.  I’ve seen it many times, and truthfully they do seem full of many sorrows.

Not necessarily because they realized they were loving money, but because their souls are literally tortured, they aren’t satisfied, their lives aren’t fulfilling, they have literally “strayed from the faith” because they thought the new raise, job, or promotion, was the answer to their problem.

The devil is cracking up because the answer to their problem was there in church all along.

The VERY thing he got them to stray away from, held the answer they needed.

They went seeking supply, provision, and ultimately peace. They sought the “things” and it led them astray from the faith.

Had they sought God FIRST and His way of operating, then God would have added those “things” to them. (See Matthew 6:30-33)

It’s a cycle

Hit rock bottom, go to church. Get some help, then make the same money-led choices which caused you to hit rock bottom. Go to church, get help, then repeat.

I know people in this position are not thinking, “Okay Lord, I love you, but I am going to choose money over you.” No, of course not.

The love of money, aka mammon, is sneaky. It often disguises itself as wisdom and common sense.

Like how people think it’s wisdom to follow the paycheck, when they should be following the Lord.

Because mammon is sneaky, we need to be on alert. Let’s take a look on how we can make sure we don’t fall victim to it’s tricks:

Check yourself in 3 easy steps!

1. Examine yourself. Ask yourself this: 

Do I really believe Philippians 4:19 that promises, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

Do I truly act and behave like I believe that promise? Do my actions line up as though I trust God to meet my needs, or am I trying to go out and meet my own needs at whatever the cost?

When you heard that Philippians 4:19 scripture, did you respond with, “Ya, I know that but I just don’t see how…”

SIDENOTE: If you read or hear a scripture, but then respond with “Ya, but” – THAT MEANS YOU DON’T REALLY BELIEVE IT.

And if you don’t really believe that scripture, what other scriptures don’t you believe? Your actions will prove what’s really in your heart.

Get real with yo’self.  Even if it hurts.  Take a look at your actions and your choices.

2. Get wise counsel, have others examine you.  There are several times when the Bible tells us to get wise counsel from others. This counsel needs to be other Christians who are spirit filled, and preferably more experienced in the faith than you.

They will help you see things that you can’t see yourself. (Don’t skip this one, EVERYONE needs to do this.)

3. Recommit to putting God FIRST in your life. Put a value on God’s word, honor him in all you do.

Are you making time for Him, or are you making a schedule then seeing if there’s time left for Him?

Do you get up at the last possible second before you need to be at work or class? Or do you get up 30 minutes early and pray and get in the word first?

Are you a tither? Tithing reveals you put God first financially. Or do you go pay your bills and see if there’s a few bucks left for Him at the end?

They way you handle money is gauge that will indicate your trust level with God.

The Goal

My prayer, my goal for you is to walk in the fullness of God’s blessing.

Remember, having money is not bad, in fact, it’s good! Loving money, preferring money, picking money over your faith is what we must look out for.

I don’t want you to be deceived, but it takes knowledge of God’s word, and faith in God’s word in order to do that.

When you put God first, when you prefer Him, when you give Him preferential treatment, you will walk in the fullness of His blessing.

When you make your life choices based off of His direction, NOT based off money, He will get the money to you. He will make sure you live a life of abundance and increase.  He already promised you that.

Seek Him first in all you do. He’ll promote you and bless you far beyond anything you could ever make happen on your own.

If you don’t have counsel, or someone to go to, email me here. Let’s put God’s promises into action for your situation.

Stay strong, and make sure you’re on my updates list, you don’t want to miss the next few lessons I have coming out.

You guys are awesome, talk soon.

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