People seem fond of misquoting St. Paul in saying, “Money is the root of all evil.”
He didn’t say that.
In fact, nowhere does the Bible say that.
What St. Paul wrote (1 Timothy 6:10) is, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”
It’s too easy to blame “money” for the world’s ills, when in actuality, “sin” should shoulder that accusation.
Money itself isn’t evil.
Look how many things wouldn’t be possible, were it not for money:
- Charitable foundations that pour countless dollars into various diseases (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and more) in hopes of a cure.
- Scholarships for students wishing to further their education and improve their lot in life.
- School buildings to educate the young.
- Hospitals to heal the sick.
- Nursing homes to tend the elderly and infirm.
- Organizations to provide for the needs of military veterans.
- Groups who work to house the needy.
- Roads to make it easier to go from one place to another.
- Prisons to confine those who are dangerous to society (and hopefully, rehabilitate them).
- Wireless towers to help us communicate with others.
- And the list goes on.
Where we get into trouble, St. Paul implies, is when we love money above all else. That’s God’s position, and when we elevate anything above Him (whether it be ourselves, our spouses, our kids, our jobs, anything), we’re treading on thin ice.
The love of money causes us to hoard (have you seen that TV show about hoarders? Hilarious, but sad.).
The love of money causes us to fear that we won’t have enough.
The love of money causes us to doubt in the Goodness and Providence of our Creator.
I have found that tithing a portion of my income back to charity — as soon as it comes in — blesses me a hundred times more than holding onto that money would.
More, probably, than what little I donate does for those receiving my funds.
Still, it’s a start.
I won’t kid you — tithing can be a scary thing, the first or every time you do it.
I liken it to jumping off a cliff and hoping a tree or something will be there to stop your free-fall!
But we’re called to trust God and love people, and tithing forces us to do that.
Besides, it just feels GOOD!