Money is said to be the “root of all evil”. This phrase comes from the Bible itself in 1 Timothy 6:10. But is money really the root of all evil? What is meant by this phrase? If we want to rid ourselves of evil, how can we when we need money to live? Let’s dive further into the study of money and how it affects our lives and what we can do with it.
Let’s start with earning money. It is not a bad thing to want to earn money or want to be successful in supporting a family, it takes money to do everything we want on earth. With that being said, the more we want things or want to do things, it is money we turn to. This is where the downhill spiral begins. When we love money and want money our eyes have been taken off God. Let’s look at that verse from 1 Timothy 6:10 in full. It says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” Paul says because they craved money so badly, they wandered away from God. Why? Because no longer were their desires and mind on God, they were on possessions and things of the world. The simple, yet not so simple answer to this problem of love of money lies in Hebrews 13:5 which says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you””. It is easier said than done to keep our life free from the love of money but that is our goal.
Those who love money and possessions often are looking for something that will satisfy them and make them happy. One of the wisest man ever to live said that money will not solve this problem. Solomon in Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” Solomon is saying that those who love money and wealth will not be happy with it, it is useless. What will make us happy and content? God. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” God is the one that will supply what we need and we will be content with Him because He is the only things we need.
Jesus teaches much on the subject of money. Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Jesus tells us to store up treasures in heaven, to build our foundation of faith on Jesus Christ and to have our minds on the things of God. Jesus also makes the point that the treasure of this world, all the things we have will be destroyed and gone. When we die, we do not take them with us, which is no value to us then. What we desire, what we long for, is our treasure. So if we desire physical wealth and possessions, we cannot desire God which should be our desire. Our heart will not be right with God and we will have worldly desires, which lead to death.
Money is all around us. We need it to live, we need it to support ourselves and others. However, with that being said, we must be careful not to let it overcome us. Jesus says in Matthew 19:24, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Notice how Jesus doesn’t say it is impossible for a rich man to enter heaven, but that it is extremely hard. Why? Because when we have riches and wealth, we are easily consumed by it and leads to worldly desires that lead to death. To those who have been given much and have great wealth, think about what you are doing with that wealth? Is it all going towards you or are you glorifying God with it? Where are your desires? Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce”. We should be honoring God with our wealth by giving to the needy and giving what we have to those who need it for it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). We must also remember that it is God who gives us everything we have (Deuteronomy 8:18, 1 Timothy 6:17).
To conclude this study I want to end with a powerful proverb from Solomon. Proverbs 11:4 says, “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” When judgment day comes, it will not matter how much we made, what car we drove, or how big our house was. What will matter is what we did with our wealth and what we desired. Who did we help? Did we desire the things of God? As we are standing before God’s throne, we might reflect on these questions and on what we didn’t do and on what we should have desired. God will say to us, ‘Away from me” and we will beg God for another chance saying that this time we won’t desire money. This time we will desire heavenly things and we will live for Him. By then it will be too late. We won’t get another chance. So let’s examine ourselves now and desire the things of God so we may receive the riches of heaven.