For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.1 Timothy 6:10(NASB)
Too often Bible verses or passages of Scripture are taken out of context or misquoted, which distorts the meaning, and can cause confusion to believers and unbelievers alike.
This verse in Timothy is one such example, which is both misquoted and altered. Indeed, songs have been written with the unbiblical words, “money is the root of all evil”, rather that the truth – the LOVE of money is A root of all sorts of evil.
Money can be used for good as well as for ill, but it is the LOVE of money which is being spoken of in this verse. Lusting after money and the intense desire to gain more money and increase worldly wealth, is what is being spoken about here.
Similarly, the love of money is not the single source of evil, as is so often implied in the secular song, mentioned above – but that the love of money is one of many ungodly ways, that entices us into various sins and wickedness.
Indeed, the context of this verse must also be considered, for Paul is contrasting the tranquil attitude of godly contentment and gratitude with a greedy craving for wealth, an insatiable hankering after riches, or the materialist mind-set, which is embodied in a fallen world.
One of the qualities that Paul lists in a church elder or overseer, earlier in the book, is that he is gentle, peaceable and free from the love of money, for when godliness springs from a contented heart it is a great asset in a child of God.
We should never forget that we came into this world with nothing.. and when we die we will take nothing from it. We should always remember that the desire to get rich can cause men and women to fall into temptation. Paul is not only talking about the fleshly desire to acquire riches, but the accompanying worries of keeping it safe and hoarding it up.
Sadly, the love of money can become a snare, with many barbs, which plunge men into ruin and destruction – for the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil – and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Paul is warning that the lust for riches has even caused some believers to wander away from the faith. Some have lost their grip on the things of God and foolishly turned back into fleshly carnality – which inevitably causes much griefs and heartache, and severs fellowship with our heavenly Father.
These warnings in the Bible about the love of money and desire for wealth should be heeded, but we should also be careful that we do not distort God’s Word, by taking a verse out of context or allowing Biblical truth to be distorted, by a worldly interpretation, for it is the love of money that is a root of many kinds of evil.
As children of God, we have His assurance that He will provide for all of our needs, according to His goodness and the riches of His grace. May we use the money we have wisely. May we use it as a servant and not allow it to become a master. May we keep the Lord Jesus in His rightful position, at the centre of our life.. for when He is the focus of our heart, other things are kept within a correct perspective.
Heavenly Father, there are many things that can displace the Lord Jesus from His rightful position in my heart, and the love of money is one that I know can cause much distress and destruction, when it is not correctly bridled under the authority of Christ. Help me to use the money that I have wisely, and help me to always regard money and my possessions as my servant and not my master. Take my life, together with all that I own for Your greater glory, and let it be consecrated to You, from this day forward and for evermore, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.