Is Money the Root of all Evil?
Author: Andy Robbins
My last two posts have been focused on God’s provisions for His people – spiritual AND monetary. I know that this brings up some questions regarding whether or not money is the root of all evil, as some have suggested. So let’s proceed to topple a sacred cow!
First, let it be known that money in itself is not evil. Scripture says that the LOVE of money – being subservient to it and hoarding it and lusting for more of it – is the root of all sorts of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). But money in itself is not evil. In fact, money in the hands of a righteous and generous person can be and is a tremendous blessing. No poor person ever funded an orphanage, paid for any hospitals to be built, financed missionaries, or built any churches. These things require money, and lots of it.
You might find it interesting that the Bible has more to say about money than it does just about any other one subject. With money we show ourselves faithful or slothful. With money we show ourselves either wise stewards, or lazy and careless (see Matthew 25:14-30). With money we show ourselves generous at heart, or selfish hoarders. With and because of money much good is accomplished, or much evil is carried out. It all depends on whose hands it is in.
I believe that there has been much misunderstanding in the church regarding money for many generations, and this is very unfortunate. The reason I say that is because by believing that poverty is somehow a standard of piety in order to maintain humility and to develop character, the funding of the gospel is limited and people in need STAY in need. The scriptures say that money will destroy the FOOL. So if you know someone who got destroyed by having a lot of money, you now know what kind of person he or she was in the first place. In contrast, however, Proverbs 10:22 says “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.” That means that money won’t destroy a person of godly integrity and character.
Quite often poor people are focused on their own needs at the exclusion of the needs of others, and they are usually powerless to be a blessing even when they want to be. That’s certainly how I was when didn’t have two dimes to rub together. A person that is just trying to get through the week until the next paycheck will have a hard time being extravagant in their giving when a missionary visits their church and needs funding, or when they see someone else in need. Oh sure, they can still be a blessing by praying for people and being an encouragement, and those things are valuable. But they can’t finance anything. And did you ever notice that there are plenty of poor Christian people who are just as selfish and proud as any rich person ever was? Being poor does not always result in humility, and being rich doesn’t necessarily equal stinginess. I know lots of poor people who are sensitive and insecure and try to compensate by puffing themselves up, and they are NO FUN to be around. And yet some of the kindest and most generous people I know are also some of the most prosperous. It really goes both ways. Being poor doesn’t create character in people anymore than having money does. It all depends on what is in the heart in the first place.
Now, to qualify my remarks, I realize that the Bible says in James 2:5 that God has called the poor in the world to be rich in faith, and that’s wonderful. I know that Christians in Third World countries are so much more advanced in their faith than most Americans, and it’s because they have nothing else to rely on besides God. While having that kind of faith for God to meet your daily needs is great, I wonder if it isn’t also valuable to God for someone to have faith great enough to believe for a level of abundance to have your own needs met and plenty left over to be a blessing to someone else. The answer is yes, because it is in the scriptures over and over.
Psalm 35:27 in the King James says that God delights in the prosperity of His servants. Well then, why aren’t all Christians prosperous? Are some called to have abundance while others are called to be poor? Well, yes, there IS a degree of sovereignty we have to consider. But I am not of the opinion that just because someone was born poor and currently lives poor means it is God’s will that they stay that way. God has made provisions in His Word to help people to understand HIS methods of financial increase, and all we have to do is know those principles enough to believe them, and then apply them.
In understanding these concepts, we have to first understand that God’s view of money – and therefore the view that He wants His children to have of money – is completely opposite of the humanistic worldview. The naturalistic, logical view regarding money is that if you give it away, you won’t have it anymore. Makes sense. But do you know how much God cares about making sense to the natural mind? Exactly zilch! How much sense does it make to turn the other cheek to someone who has just slapped you? How much sense does it make to bless someone who curses you? How much sense did it make when Jesus once healed a mute by spitting in the dirt and making a paste that He placed on the man’s tongue?! In fact, God actually gets a kick out of using “foolish things to confound the wise,” and I believe it jazzes God when someone who isn’t supposed to be much or do much in the eyes of the world ends up funding a multi-million dollar children’s hospital.
Hear me: GOD LIKES PROMOTING NOBODIES, so long as they are truly humble, righteous, and generous. Read the story of Gideon if you don’t believe me. He was a humble guy who even said to the angel that he must have the wrong man when the angel addressed him as a valiant warrior. He said he was the least person in the least family in the least tribe in Israel, and THAT’s precisely why God wanted Him for the job, because He knew it would mean that Gideon would glorify Jehovah in his victory and not himself. If you think you are a nobody, look up, because God might just be ready to promote you if YOU are ready to believe that He wants to, and if you follow some simple instructions.
If you are not as blessed as you want to be, listen to these words and remember them: YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY THERE, AND GOD DOESN’T WANT YOU TO! God is in the business of PROGRESS and GROWTH, my friends. If you aren’t growing spiritually, and if you aren’t growing in knowledge and wisdom and ability, and if you aren’t growing socially, and if you aren’t growing financially, then something is wrong. It simply means that there is something you don’t know yet, and that’s easily remedied. Psalm 115:14 says that God will increase you more and more, both you and your children. He wants you to INCREASE! He likes it. It makes Him look good in the earth when His kids are increasing. Deuteronomy 8:18 says that it is God who gives His children the ability to produce wealth in order to establish His covenant. Abundance is GOD’S idea people, not the devils! Jesus said that He came so that we might have life MORE ABUNDANTLY, and that it is Satan that has decrease on his mind (see John 10:10). Jesus said that Satan came to steal from you, kill you and your family if he can, and destroy everything associated with your life.
Listen now….this may come as a shock….it is Satan who wants you to be impoverished, but God wants you blessed. If you don’t believe that’s true, then you need look no further than the condition of some of the nations of the world as living proof. Haiti, for example, has been fully given over to voodoo and witchcraft, and as a result of that pact with the devil, look where they are today. They are one of the poorest and filthiest countries on the planet. I know, I’ve been there. The villages reek of sewage and the people are horrifyingly destitute. By stark contrast, the United States of America was founded upon Christian principles and a faith in God as stated clearly in our Constitution, and look how God raised us up from a little fledging nation to the most prosperous and powerful empire in the history of the world.
As you might be able to tell, I am passionate about this issue, because I was once so much poorer than probably all of the people reading this post. I was a C-average student in high school, graduating in the lower third of my class. I dropped out of college and I didn’t have any job skills that would land me an impressive income. And I didn’t get where I am today by some clever business deal. By simply observing a few Biblical principles, God took me out of that impoverished condition by steadily growing me over the years, and now I have a desire to help people understand these same principles as well.
Stay tuned, because I plan on posting at least one more post on how one taps into God’s abundance.
Blessings to you until then.