For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. – 1 Timothy 6:10
1 Timothy 6:6-11
6 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.
7 After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.
8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
“Oh, dear Lord. You made many, many poor people. I realize, of course, it’s no shame to be poor… but it’s no great honor either. So, what would be so terrible… if I had a small fortune” (Tevye – Fiddler on the Roof)?
“Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money” (Jackie Mason).
How often have you heard it said, “Money is the root of all sorts of evil?” This is a misreading and misunderstanding of the Scriptures.” It quotes only part of the verse. To understand its meaning, the entire verse must be examined.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil
The Scriptures do not teach that possessing money or wealth is sinful or evil. Instead, it is the love of money, not money itself, that is evil.
The Greek term translated as the love of money is one word in Greek philarguria, literally, moneylove; from phileo – to love and arguros – silver. This term is only used in the New Testament in 1 Timothy 6:10.
The Greek philosophers warned against moneylove. They recognized that the dream of wealth and happiness could gain an obsessive hold and be ruinous.
The selfish quest for more had its start in grasping after the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Moneylove, the greed for more, is the snare that entraps.
What you treasure is what you love, and what you love is what you treasure.
Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
REFLECT & PRAY
Being affluent, and possessing abundant earthly wealth, can make you a pauper with the Father.
Father our culture is so materialistic; enable me not to get caught up in it and seek wealth and abandon You.
Do you wish to find true contentment? What produces true contentment: wealth in the hand or godliness in the heart? People who depend on material things for security and assurance will never truly have either. Instead, they come from the overflow of the love of the Father in one’s heart. The Scriptures teach us to be wise and balanced regarding poverty and riches.
7 O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.
8 First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
9 For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
Our relationship with the Father is permanent and eternal. Wealth is transient. It comes and goes. When we leave this life, our material possessions and our wealth stay behind. You will never see a hearse pulling a U Haul.
Luke 12:15 Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.
People who are absorbed by moneylove become slaves to seeking it. Moneylove, the acquisition, and retention of wealth, drive them. Generally speaking, a slave is someone subservient to and under the authority of their master. Moneylove can own us.
For children of the King, this presents a real problem.
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
We can choose what we serve. We can choose to be slaves of moneylove or not. But we can also choose to be slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Father seeks us to serve Him, not out of obligation or debt. But rather out of love and devotion. The activity may be the same, but the motivation is entirely different. It has to do with our attitudes and the heart.
In the Old Testament, it was possible to choose to become a slave because of financial necessity. The Mosaic law was very specific about this regarding Hebrew slaves. Becoming a slave would provide a modicum of safety, shelter, and food. Hebrews chose to be slaves. But the length of slavery was only six years. During the seventh year, they were to be set free (Exodus 21:2).
However, sometimes the slave began to love the family he served. He could choose to remain on as a voluntary bondservant for the remainder of their life. This involved a special ceremony.
The slave would stand at the doorway of his master’s home. His earlobe would then be placed against the door. His ear would then be pierced by an awl and driven into the door. It is a vivid word picture of being permanently united with their family for the rest of their life.
5 But the slave may declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I don’t want to go free.’
6 If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door or doorpost and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will serve his master for life.
Voluntary servanthood in the Old Testament was intended as a real-life word picture that ultimately pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ. He willingly chose to serve and submit to the Father.
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
We are to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in voluntary service not grudgingly but out of loving desire and devotion.
To paraphrase Ephesians 6:6, Try to please Him all the time, not by way of eye-service, just when you are being watched. As slaves of Christ, do the will of the Father with all your heart.
Being a bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ is not drudgery but an expression of freedom and love. His “burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
We have a choice. We no longer have to be slaves of moneylove or other sins and addictions.
Romans 6:22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.
“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail” (Kinky Friedman).
© Dr. H 2022