For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10 (NIV).
This is a greatly mis-quoted verse. Money itself isn’t the root of all kinds of evil; money is just a tool, even a blessing, that God gives to us. Loving the tool more than the God who gives it is what is the root of all kinds of evil. It’s the starting point down paths that lead away from Him. I know plenty of wealthy people who struggle to keep it together; I know plenty of poor people who do the same yet seem more contented (or is it resigned) with their lot.
Thank God I’m poor, right? I mean, I’ve been working for over 30 years now and I don’t seem to get ahead. Well-paying jobs pay me well and it all seems to go out the door. At this pace, I’ll be working until noon on the day of my funeral. Perhaps “poor” isn’t the best word since, by the standards of poverty, my family is no where near that. Perhaps the better description is “monetarily challenged.”
So be it. It doesn’t keep me up at night. I choose a different path.
Don’t get me wrong: I like a buck as much as the next guy. And I plan on working until I’m 72-74 to make sure I have done all I can to enjoy retirement. Besides, I enjoy work. I look at it as a blessing, as a way to use the talents God gave me to better do His work for me in the world. That includes my career.
Perhaps I’ve learned to be content with how God provides. That’s a lesson that didn’t come easily after watching my parents financially struggle for decades. Then making irresponsible choices with my own money, spending too much and investing too little. Yet through it all, the antidote to loving money is remembering that, every day, God provides abundantly whether we’re monetarily poor or rich. It seems cliché but if you wake up, God has provided. If you’re breathing, rested, drinking water, God has provided. No matter what condition you’re in, if you’re above room temperature, then God has provided all you need to start the day and meet what’s up ahead. Let’s be content with that first and let the rest come as it will.
Love God and not the money He provides. When you do that, it becomes easy to become content and realize He’s going to provide whatever we need in all circumstances. That, and start to tithe. But let’s save that subject for a different discussion.
For further reading: 1 Timothy 6:11.
Provider Lord, forgive me when I focus more on money and earning than on You and the blessings You give. Thank You for giving me today, and help me to use today wisely.