Isn't Money the Root of All Evil???

Tina Michelle Moller

2021-08-14 3 min read

Something to know about me is that I’m a Christian.  It amazes me how many of my peers have misquoted this scripture to me.  The actual verse can be found in 1 Timothy 6:10.  No matter which version of the Bible you refer to, the message is the same, ““For the LOVE of money is the root of all evil…”

What is “the love of money”?

When you value money above your integrity, friends, family or faith; you have “the love of money”.  Some examples are extreme.  It includes families who fight over a deceased ones’ estate; lying to get gain; or scamming an old lady out of her life savings.  It also refers to other situations, though not illegal, are still not a good idea.  It includes working in a job that you dislike just to get that paycheck, or spending more than you earn on things you don’t need.  Many of us have been guilty of that last one.  For Christians it includes not paying an honest tithe.  (Feel free to insert your own example here.)  

Money can also be substituted with the word “things”.  This was perfectly demonstrated in the movie, “Fireproof”.  Caleb saved every penny he could to buy a boat while his wife Catherine struggled to care for and support her aging mother.  I won’t tell you how the story progresses but I highly recommend you watch the movie.

WHAT MONEY IS AND WHAT IT CAN DO

Money is a convenience.  In the early days, people would use livestock or grains or metals for trade, which is much more difficult to carry in your pocket. 

Money is recognized as having value, not that the material it’s made of is worth much, but the stock it represents has value.

Money is a tool.  Just like you would use a hammer to drive a nail into a wall rather than your hand, you use money to achieve various results. 

Having money will make you happier.  This is actually scientifically proven.  Despite another common mistruth many people spout without actually considering the impact of their words, people with a net income of $95,000/year report more happiness than people who earn less.  

Side note: Of course there are other factors to happiness such as spending time with people who bring out the best in you and for whom you do the same.  No amount of money will make up for miserable people, but...

 People with money tend to have less stress since they can pay their bills; assist a loved one who desperately needs costly medical care; or do the things they enjoy like travel or pursue higher education or even just own a dog.  The freedoms they enjoy are much greater than the person who just realized they can’t retire because they can’t afford it.

WHAT MONEY ISN’T AND WHAT IT WON’T DO

Money won’t fulfill you.  A nurse at a palliative care ward interviewed dying patients and recorded their regrets.  Of the top 5, none were about wishing they made more money.  In fact, people who prioritize money above all else are likely to reach the end of their life and think, “That was it?”.  

The same is true of things.  Buyers who love the thrill of purchasing a new item will find that thrill quickly wears off each time.  In exchange for a household full of stuff they don’t need, the reality of maxed out credit cards creates stress and strain on relationships, which is often soothed by the next purchase.

Money doesn’t make you a better person; instead it emphasizes more of what you are.  If you’re a kind and compassionate sort of person whether you have money or not, that will be reflected.  If you behave like a jerk without money then chances are you’ll still behave like a jerk with it, except now maybe more people will put up with you.

Money will not make you rich.  Ask 70% of lottery winners.  If you are not mentally prepared to receive wealth or have an excellent mentor or financial consultant to help you, you are likely to find yourself back in the same position before obtaining money.  This also applies to any person who’s consolidated their debt.  Without guidance, they often find themselves back in serious debt again within a short amount of time.

Money is a gift.  It is a blessing to be used for your benefit, the benefit of those near you, and the benefit of those far away from you.  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33 KJV)  Do things in that order, and you should be good to go.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/1-tim/6?lang=eng
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireproof_(film)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/money-can-buy-happiness/2020/07/01/3c2fc554-bb5a-11ea-8cf5-9c1b8d7f84c6_story.html
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-the-lottery/2019/12/27/742b9662-2664-11ea-ad73-2fd294520e97_story.html
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/matt/6?lang=eng