Who tell yuh dat? - The lies we believe: Money is the root of all evil
Have you ever heard someone say that being poor as a Christian simply means that you are righteous? People who usually say this often believe that money comes with trouble and that having money is an indication that you have been corrupted by the world. They would rather be poor because to them, money is the root of all evil. Today, we continue our discussion on Who Tell Yuh Dat? The Lies We Believe, by demystifying this lie concerning money.
The truth is, money is neither good nor bad. Money isn't evil by itself. It is merely a means to exchange value, a tool - which can be used for good or bad. The saying 'money is the root of all evil' is a misquote of the Bible. In fact, 1 Timothy 6:10a NIV states "... the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." That means, whether we are rich or poor, the love of money will corrupt our lives.
But why does money have the tendency to be such a great lure? One school of thought is that it is because of what it is perceived to do - that money can buy life. This has caused myths concerning money.
The Myth of Money
Over the years, we have come to believe that:
1. Money can buy me SECURITY
We falsely believe that if we have enough of it, money can be our safety net. We think that if anything were to happen, we could just rock back on our money. But while we need to plan and save, our source of hope is not in the money we have, but in God as Psalm 33:16-19 NIV tells us: "No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save, But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine."
2. Money can buy me HAPPINESS
We falsely think that if we just had a little more money and a few more possessions, it would make us happy. Money can make us live a more comfortable life, but the research continually shows that money by itself does not make us happy. In fact, studies have shown that the more we have, the more we want and the unhappier we become! 1 Timothy 6:10b NIV states, "... people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
3. Money can buy me PEACE
We falsely reason that money can bring us peace of mind. Sylvester Stallone had this to say when asked about the effect of money on his life in Great Stores; vol. 5/issue 17: p.9 "Money does not bring peace of mind ... once you make a fortune, you'd think it would be all green lights and blue skies. But that's not true."
So we see that money cannot buy life. However, the love of money can cause problems including turning us away from dependence on God. God is not against us having money! What we need to realise is that what we expect money to provide are the things the Bible tells us that only God can provide.
God's View of Money
God is not anti-money. We know this because:
I. God enables us to gain wealth. Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV states, "But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth." God has no problem with us being wealthy, and when we use our God-given abilities to gain wealth, it is an act of worship.
II. God wants us to enjoy what we have. Ecclesiastes 5:19 NLT reminds us that "... it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy work and accept your lot in life - this is indeed a gift from God".
III. God knows we need money. When it comes to our commercial system, money is an integral and necessary part of it. We need money for food, clothes, bills. Ecclesiastes 10:19b NIV puts it nicely, "... money is the answer for everything".
So we see that God is not against us having money, but it must fit into its rightful place in our lives. The problem arises when we make money a god in our minds as opposed to allowing money to be God's tool in our hands.
Next week, we will look at how we can honour God by being good stewards of money.