“The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.” – Luke 8:14.
Despite what many people believe, money is not the root of all evil. Neither is it good or bad, nor does it make a person good or bad. What the Bible actually says is, “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Those two little words, “love of” make a huge difference to the total meaning of this verse.
Loving money has to do with placing your trust in it. What you put your trust in is what you serve. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” (Matthew 6:24). God is not willing to share you with the world. Exodus 20:4-5 reminds us. “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…”
Obviously, everyone needs money; therefore, we must be careful it is not controlling us and that we are not serving it by letting our money and possessions define who we are. Because if it is controlling us, then it is easy for money to be the root of all kinds of evil in our lives. Not that it will happen every time. But here is how it can become a priority. Having money provides options and control. The more options and control one has, the more freedom and comfort one can experience, and that’s the very reason it has the potential to develop a lesser dependence on God.
Money can give us a level of confidence, but the Bible reminds us that without God we can do nothing (John 15:5). The love of money is the root of all evil because the “love of money” puts one in a position where the need for God is diminished or even eliminated.
When people think of the relationship between God and money, they typically believe they are in direct opposition of each other. God does not hate money. He just hates what it has the potential to do to people who’s heart is already far from Him. Money is neither good nor bad in itself. It’s simply a magnifier. It magnifies what people already are. The facts are, God is the ultimate authority and creator of the entire universe while money is only a medium of exchange. That’s all money is and ever will be. Although it’s a component of everyday life, it’s still just a “thing,” and therefore, it is subject to failure and change. It is not something we can put our eternal confidence in.
The Apostle Paul tells us to teach those who are rich in money that the love of money is the root of all evil. He wants us to teach them to not be proud and trust in their wealth, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need. The rich in money should use their wealth to do good, be generous to those in need, and always be ready to share with others (1 Timothy 6:17-18).
- Is treating money and things carefully different than loving money? Why or why not?
- Where does an obedient Christian draw the line on luxury? (having anything more than the bare necessities)
- There are many ways to “seek the kingdom of God above all else.” How does that impact how we view our money?