2019-08-13 - Money is the Root of All Evil?
Misunderstood Verses Series
Of all the misquoted and misunderstood verses, I believe that I personally have heard this one the most of all. There are a good number of people who truly believe this verse that supposedly says “money is the root of all evil.”he problem is that like is too often true with sound bytes of politicians on television, an important part of the quote is omitted. The Apostle Paul never wrote that money itself is evil. In actuality, the verse reads:
1 Timothy 6:10 (NASB) For the love of (emphasis mine) 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.
As you can see from the entire verse in context, the problem comes when we love money more than God, and we let greed pull us away from our relationship with God.
Money is morally neutral and can be used for good or evil. If we do have more money than others, of course, we should use some of it to help others.Some do this via tithing to their churches, with some of that going to benevolence. Others additionally give to charities such as those that help the homeless (one of my personal pet causes).
Many wealthy people have used their wealth to better society and the world.
Just to provide a few examples:
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, capitalist businessman Andrew Carnegie gave the money necessary to build 2509 public libraries, where people could check out free books.
Wealthy businessman Truett Cathy, founder of the Chick Filet restaurant chain, operated his restaurants by Biblical standards. For example, from Day 1, the Chick Filets have always been closed on Sunday. In addition, his foundation has given over 68 MILLION dollars to charity. This includes funding foster homes for children from troubled homes, giving college scholarships to needy students so that monetary problems wouldn’t stop them from acquiring a higher education, and youth camps.
Other businessmen gave generous sums of money to found hospitals.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
Of course, on the other hand, some people use their money to fuel illicit drug addictions and other bad habits.When I worked for many years in the Criminal Justice system, I saw the effects of how the LOVE of money and “things” could cause intense grief. Gang members and other violent criminals feel entitled to other people’s hard-earned “stuff,” so they commit acts of violence to steal it. Sometimes people are killed over small sums of money or even a phone or pair of shoes. Greed can be deadly - both spiritually and literally.
But even for those of us who would never commit an act of violence, greed can be deadly to our souls. If our number one priority in life is to earn a lot of money, then money has taken the place of God and family.
It’s all a matter of balance, another lesson from the Apostle Paul.
Janice P. Moser
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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.
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