Money – the root of all evil or gift from God?
Perhaps you’ve heard the expression “money is the root of all evil”. Many people assume that means that God hates money. Let’s take a closer look at that verse…
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. But you, men of God, flee from all this; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:10-11
So this is really a warning to beware of the distraction that the pursuit of money can be, and a challenge to make God the priority in our lives.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34
Money is not evil, in fact the Bible clearly states that money is a gift from God.
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth. Deuteronomy 8:17-18
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
We know that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Hezekiah, Job and Jehoshaphat were very wealthy men of Bible times. So, if we know that money is a gift from God then the way we use money and the priority we give it in our lives is very important.
What place does money have in your life? Is it the most important priority?
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24
So what does it mean to serve money? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Are you too busy working long hours to take time to read the Bible and pray?
Do you put your career ahead of your family’s needs?
Do you make your decisions based on what it will cost or on what will please God?
Does the thought of sacrificing money or career opportunities to do something for someone else frighten you?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it’s time to take a close look at your priorities. So how do you make God a higher priority in your life?
Do not let this Book of the Law (Bible) depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful wherever you go. Joshua 1:8
Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
Honour the Lord with your wealth. Proverbs 3:9
If we make God our priority he promises to make us prosperous and successful!
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. Proverbs 11:28
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
We are surrounded by pressure to achieve success, to work harder, earn more money, buy a bigger house, a newer car…
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. 1 Timothy 6:9
But let the brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position; and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind, and withers the grass; and its flowers fall off, and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so to the rich man in the midst of his pursuits we fade away. James 1:9-11
If we trust in God and try to follow His ways we know that…
God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished. Proverbs 28:20
So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat? Or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” for the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:31-33
Jesus said to His disciples, "truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.... "And again I say to 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." And when the disciples heard this, they were astonished and said, "Then who can be saved?" And looking upon them Jesus said to them, "with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:16-26
So check your priorities, and invest in an eternal future:
Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17