The Love of Money

The Bible is such a practical book and addresses all of life. God, in his wisdom, has given us a guidebook for understanding how to live well. One of the areas the Bible is not afraid to discuss is money. We see Paul’s counsel to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:9-10 which says,

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

Money is not bad, but the love of money is a serious problem.  As I was reading this passage, I see a progression here that could be summarized as follows:

Desire to be rich  ->  falling into temptation  ->  the love of money  ->  evil deeds  -> wandering away from the faith  -> causing yourself pain

Notice how the ESV Study Bible summarizes this text,

“What is condemned here is the desire to be rich, not material things per se when rightly used for the glory of God. The desire to be rich leads one to fall into temptation. This, in turn, results in the love of money, which Paul identifies as a root of all kinds of evils (v. 10). The connection between false teaching and the desire to be rich has been a problem from the church’s very beginning. .The warning is not simply that “love of money” is harmful but that this has led some to deny the faith, showing themselves to be unbelievers (cf. 1:19).”

What is the solution for our desire for wealth? The previous verses tell us. Paul said,

“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”

Contentment is the answer to the love of money. We should be thankful and grateful for all that God has given us (see James 1:17). We should appreciate what we have rather than crave what we don’t. Paul tells us that this contentment should be the fruit of realizing how temporary riches are. We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it either. Our focus needs to be on our eternal inheritance and God’s rewards for faithfulness.

Father, thank you again for how practical you Word is to us. Help me to keep the perspective of the temporary nature of earthly wealth, power and prestige. May you enable me to live a life of faithfulness focused on you and the eternal rewards of such effort.

Following Jesus with you,