“Money is the root of ALL evil.”
That is the axiom we all know and love. Money is itself an evil thing. It is even more depraved than man. It is not merely totally depraved it is utterly depraved. Money is living in rebellion, and is willing and eager to disobey God. Money, like a natural disaster, makes conscious choices to do evil things. Money, like a weapon, does awful things on its own accord. Money is actually more autonomous than a human being.
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Hold on. That Holy Spirit-inspired verse does not say that money is the root of all evil or that money is itself evil. That verse seems to say that the love of money is a root of many different forms of evil. Also, it says
that only “some,” by longing for it, have wandered away from the faith.
Well that changes some things, does it not? If money is not inherently wicked, then the implication is that we should place more emphasis on the possessor of money – particularly his/her heart – than we do the inanimate object.
Quick, who is more sinful: the man who has $100 or the man who has $10?
If you automatically assumed the man with more money is more sinful, you should keep reading. If you object to the question on the lack of insufficient knowledge to make such a judgment, you can click away and call it a day.
The man with more money may have acquired his wealth ethically or unethically. He may have worked hard, saved his money, lived below his means and invested wisely and now that he’s 70 he has a nice net worth. Or he may have done some shady backroom deals, underpaid his employees, and taken advantage of people. The guy with less may have that amount because he just started working or because he gives most of it away or because he had an unexpected medical expense. Or maybe he has less because he is a poor worker and lives above his means. Regardless, someone’s net worth doesn’t give us the necessary information to make a Christ-like judgment.
As Christians we should not be “lovers of money” like the Pharisees. We should, however, be exemplary workers who make valuable contributions. Those valuable contributions will sometimes result in hefty financial compensation. If you are a Christian business owner who does great work and you have people lining up to pay you and they’re happy to pay you, then you’re not doing anything un-Christian. You’re simply being rewarded for your labor. What you do with your money is what’s important.
Money, like any other tool, can be used for honorable and dishonorable purposes. It’s often done so by the same person in the same day. Money, like any other tool, cannot reason or make choices by itself; it has to be told what to do. The question then is whether the money is being guided by the Holy Spirit who indwells you or the remnant of sin you wage war against daily?