Do you love money? Most, if not all, of my Bible friends will immediately shout, “No! The love of money is the root of all evil,” quoting 1 Timothy 6:10. “So, no, I don’t love money.”
But we deceive ourselves. Ask yourself these questions:
- Would I like a raise, a promotion, a bonus?
- Would I like my salary to be a bit higher?
- Would I like to grow my business, double my clients, increase my sales?
- Would I like to have more money in savings?
- Are you content right now with what you have, or would you like more money?
If you would like more money right now, listen to what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 5:10:
Whoever loves money never has money enough;
Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
Let me simplify this for you: would you like more money right now? If yes, then you love money.
I think most Americans are dissatisfied with what they have. I wrote an article about this undertow of lack that is so pervasive in our culture. We are convinced that we need more stuff. We think excess = success. So, we buy, we collect, we gather more and more stuff, thinking it will be bring us happiness, peace and joy. But, ironically, this craving for more is what is killing our happiness, peace and joy.
It’s even popular in most of our church sermons. “Give to God so he can bless you (with a better job to make more money to buy more stuff).”
I read the following quote this morning from a book called “The Rest of the Gospel”,
It’s easy to live as if we are the center of the universe. We would never say it, or even think it consciously, but we can live as if God is here for us. That has come across in a lot of “Christian” teaching. God is here to bless you. You ought to be rich. You ought to be prosperous. It’s your due to be successful. It’s your due to get ahead. God has to respond to your faith. God has obligated Himself to bless you if you do the right things. All of which means what? You are the center of the universe.
Are you the center of your universe? Are you building your kingdom?
It’s funny how we Americans desire to be rich. It’s funny because if you make more than $40,000 a year, you are wealthier than 99% of the world. Yet, we’d never think that a $40,000 per year salary would make anyone rich. In fact, we’d almost say you’re bordering poverty with that kind of salary.
We think being rich will give us peace and rest. But, it’s backwards. It creates misery, pain, struggles and distress. Here’s what James said in 5:1-3,
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.
The great American lie is simply this: life is better when you have more.
I don’t think it’s evil to have money, or even lots of money. Nor is it evil to make money or grow a business. Scripture does not say, “Money is the root of all evil.” No, it’s the “love of money”. The evil is when we desire more because we think it will bring security, peace, joy and happiness. Ironically, the pursuit of money does exactly the opposite. Read all of 1 Timothy 6:10,
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
This really resonated with me this morning as I was listening to an excellent sermon from Pete Briscoe at Bent Tree Church called “Less is Better.” Everything he says is spot on and so true. It’s so easy to get sucked into this “more” mindset, but as we crave more, we miss out on what we already have today.
Here’s Pete’s sermon:
Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.
— Jesus in Luke 12:15