The Root of Much Evil
I Timothy 6:10 The love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.
In my drug addiction, the problem did not lie in the pills. They were neither good nor bad and could be used for either purpose. Likewise, donuts are not evil in themselves. It is my relationship to them that causes me harm. I can have a healthy or a caustic relationship with both medication and food.
Paul, in today’s passage, said that money is similar. Like many other morally neutral things in this world, it is our inappropriate love of money (not money itself) that causes us injury. 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 (v. 9).
How do I know if I have an unhealthy relationship with money? As money is morally neutral, the measure cannot be whether I have it or not. A poor man may pursue riches above all and a rich man can love God more than his wealth.
The destruction lies in my attitude towards it. Do I pursue money above God? I may insist I do not, but I must ask, Do I spend my time and thoughts on money or God? When I work, is it only to bring home a paycheck or do I do my job for God, with his will in mind?
Where do I find my purpose, security and meaning? If faith is to pursue a thing, finding all my motivation, purpose and security in it, then, I must admit that my faith is often in money more than God. I like to think I hold my money loosely, but I think I would feel much differently if I lost it all tomorrow.
Like any addiction, it takes brutal honesty to check my attitude about money. I may tell myself I am not greedy but I must test myself to see if my faith is in God or my bank account. We brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world (v. 7).