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The Love of Money

A popular phrase is the saying “money is the root of all evil.”  This is a misquotation of the bible, a twisting of truth.  In 1 Timothy, the Apostle Paul is warning Timothy about the evil that is the love of money:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. – 1 Timothy 6:10

Money, in itself, is not evil.  Money can be used for providing food, clothing and shelter for ourselves and our loved ones.  Money can be used to invest in business and help create more jobs, helping others to provide for their families. Money can be used to donate to charities. Money can be given to churches to advance the gospel and send out bibles and missionaries.

But the love of money will destroy you.  All too often, people place their hope in their money.  They measure their worth according to their net worth.  They build their lives around their money and how to increase their profit, at whatever the cost, it seems.  People would cheat, rob and kill for money.  The love of money will rob you of joy, as you exchange the glorious God for a lie, a lie which convinces you that if you have accumulated and stored up a lot of money you will be safe.

Jesus tells us a parable about a foolish man whose hope was in his accumulated wealth and referring to the man in the parable, Jesus said:

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”  – Luke 12:18-21

Jesus warns us that this will be the fate of anyone whose heart is not devoted to God but is devoted to their money. This will be the fate of anyone who builds their life on an idol, whether money or anything else.  The hearts of those who worship money are not steadfast. Often we see them filled with anxiety as they aimlessly run in all directions in order to earn more money and find their ‘safe place.’ Sadly, if you have made money your safety net, you will never have enough of it and you will not be able to enjoy whatever little, or even much, you may have.

God warns us throughout the bible not to put our trust in our financial assets.  In Hebrews, we are told:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

Why are we told to keep our lives free from the love of money right before being reminded that God has promised He will never leave us?  Because all too often we place our hope in our money and our faith waivers when we feel as though we do not have enough. We feel forgotten by the Lord. We grow impatient as we search for a job or a better job. We can also forget God when we feel we have much money, supposing we are ‘self-sufficient.’ How weak our faith can be that God continually reminds us that we will not be forsaken.

So, do not put your hope in money.  Do not set it up as a god in your heart.  It will utterly fail you.  It cannot be your saviour.