September 27, 2023
The Bible Edge
I Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The edge of all Bible Edge teachings about money is found in this verse. All other aspects of money should be examined in light of today’s verse. It is profound. It is soul searching. It is humbling, and it is enlightening. It was every bit as true 2,000 years ago as it is today. The phrase “follow the money” is well known today, but this verse seems to say that we should follow the love. After all, Jesus said in Matthew 6:21: For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also. If a person’s true treasure is money the love of their heart will be proved soon enough.
President Jimmy Carter summed up the state of money in our society. “In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns.” And that was almost 50 years ago. Needless to say, this condition has not improved over the years. In the philosophy that gaining money is the ultimate goal, the way it is gained is not important, for the end (much money) justifies the means (whether lawful, right, moral, holy, or not).
The love of money is rampant. It is the root of all evil. It results in apostasy and the sting of sorrow that pierces those who fall into its snare. Like so many other conveniences of modern-day life, money is a wonderful tool, but a terrible toy. Someone once said, “Our incomes are like our shoes, if too small they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.” (Nathaniel Cotton 1707-88).
Proverbs 30:7-9 gives its readers a wonderful balance when it comes to money. Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. After all, I Timothy 6:6 still says: But godliness with contentment is great gain. Contentment is the antidote to the love of money. To this writer the richest person in the world is the one who is content. Contentment is not a lack of a strong work ethic, or ambition, it is a satisfaction of the soul with enough. Let this series about money be ended with this old saying “The contented man is never poor; the discontented never rich.”
William T. Howe, Ph.D.