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!
Tithing is a wonderful way to give back to the community. Thanks for setting us straight about the misquote. Money is a very useful tool, but not worth of our love. Lovely post for a Sunday. Starts the week off on a nice note. Thanks.
I’ve always heard that the one who dies with the most toys, wins. Wins what?? I think it’s probably better to die when you’ve spent your last nickel, assuming, of course, that you’ve properly educated your kids and completed whatever task you’ve been put here for. Thanks for reading — this isn’t my usual type of post, but it’s one I felt called to write today.
Growing up, my family had little money. I can’t remember a time when money wasn’t tight. But we went to church every Saturday evening and my parents always put money in an envelope to give to the church each week. I remember asking my dad about it and he told me that every since he and my mom were married, they never had a problem paying their bills or putting food on the table as long as they gave to God first.
Seems you’re right. When we think of others first, we seem to have everything we need.
Exactly, Terri! Billy Graham says you can’t out-give God, and those who give a portion back are the ones He blesses. Growing up, we often were short on money, too, but we always put something in the collection plate. And we were always blessed. I think the key is turning loose of that tithe before you realize you’ve got the money!
Faaaaaaaaaaabulou post, Debbie! And I couldn’t agree with you more.
“St. Paul implies, is when we love money above all else.”
“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.”
Amen to all three!
Money is like a circle – it must go around.
Hope you had a glorious weekend, dear lady. The weather was flawless here today, so I spent the day outside enjoying it.
Our Sunday was perfect, too, Ron, and we enjoyed it outside. Today, we’re awaiting a series of storms. Skies are clouding up, wind is blowing, and there’s change in the air. I guess the weather simply demonstrates that conditions here are transient at best!
Thank you for visiting and reading today — I promise I won’t always get on my religious soapbox!
I’ve heard the misquote more often than the actual quote….but I always remember the love of money is the root. Helping others helps ourselves, so it’s a win-win.
I like win-win situations, don’t you? When something has the potential of doing as much good as money does, it’s incumbent on us not to misuse it. Thanks for stopping by, Janna!
You are so right about people misquoting that scripture. In the Old Testament they tithed 10% but in the New Testament they tithed everything they had. My husband and I tithe 10% of gross income to the church to support the work of the Lord and we give offering for all extra giving. They say you can’t out give God. It’s true. Tithing is a bit much if you have never done it…but I can say that it’s very rewarding. Everything we have is God’s anyway…we are stewards of His money and should spend wisely…I say should….I have not always done that especially when going to the mall!
Well said, Tanya! We can’t out-give God, and everything we have comes from Him. All I know for sure is that, ever since I’ve been tithing, I’ve not been worrying over money. I have what I need! I might not be rich in the eyes of the world, but I’ve learned to manage on what I have. I wish I’d accepted tithing as a way of life earlier. Thanks for weighing in!
The distinction is fundamental, isn’t it? When we’re wise stewards of money and remember from whom all our blessings come – it’s a very good thing, indeed!
Thanks, Barb, for validating this! The way I look at it, I don’t have enough money to simply throw it around — being a wise steward is paramount!
Debbie, it does feel good! Good for you for sharing what you have! My nana always said that God never overlooked one’s generosity and multiplied it in kind. That’s always stayed with me. I say, it’s always good to pay it forward. In the end, it always comes back to you! 🙂
What a wise nana you have! And lucky you, being teachable. Young kids are just like sponges — what we say and do, even though they don’t act like they’re paying attention, are just the things they pick up. You’re fortunate in having such good role models!
Talk about food for thought. Thanks, Debbie, for putting it in perspective. It’s not money itself. It’s how you use it. Greed isn’t good.
I’m glad you understand, Monica, and you’ve stated it better than I did — Greed isn’t good. I think the problem isn’t that some people have money and others don’t. No, to me the problem lies in people who have more than enough for themselves and their loved ones, but who for some reason refuse to share with others. Money can do so much good if we’ll only release it!
I always love what you have to say, Debbie.
Have your heard that great story about Billy Graham? Well, he was at this church and the offering plate was going around and he threw in what he had assumed was a five dollar bill…he told his wife– “NO!, that was a 20. I wanted to throw in a 5.” And she said, “Don’t worry, God took it as a 5!”
The moral of the story: it’s all about what ‘s inside our heart.
I LOVE Billy and I love YOU!
What a great story, Kim, and no, I hadn’t heard that before! Mrs. Graham showed a lot of wisdom there. God doesn’t count time in hours or sharing in dollars; He counts what’s in our hearts, just as you said. Thanks for stopping by and being a good friend!