Here's a puzzle for you: What is a great thing to have, but can lead to wars and destruction? What can do a whole lot of good but at the same time wreck havoc in the lives of many? You guessed it...money. They say money talks. This idiom is used when referring to people or organizations that are rich and can get or do whatever they want. Money seems to wield a lot of power in society and seems to follow this equation: Money=Power. In this society, money gets you places you wouldn't otherwise get to without it. “There’s nothing money can’t buy”, some have said. “For the right price, you can get anything”, others have touted. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the blue collars get well, either richer or poorer depending. It’s no wonder we all want have some. I mean, let’s all be truthful here: who wants to be poor and broke? Who doesn't want to have all their bills paid, their needs met, their wants funded, and to live the lavish lifestyle of the rich and famous?
Certainly, money does talk, and seems to speak loudly to our deepest fears and insecurities. Maybe that’s why it’s been said that money is the root of all evils. Like the equation reveals, money wields power and with that power the temptation to exploit. We've seen it over and over again in society, this exploitation of power. Many seemingly good individuals have fallen prey to the lure and negative effects of money and power. A prime biblical example would be King David, who used his power and influence as a king to seduce and steal another man’s wife. He didn't stop there, but in trying to cover up his sin, had the audacity to have said man killed (story found in 2 Samuel 11-12). What can we then conclude from this? That money is the root of all evil? Is that really true?
The Word of God does not say money is the root of all evil, it says, "...for the love of money is the root of all evil...” [1 Timothy 6:10, emphasis mine]. Money in and of itself is not evil...it's a neutral player. The problem arises when our love for money trumps our affection for Almighty God, for
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in).” [Matthew 6:24, AMP].
Money tends to reveal what we are truly craving and lusting after. What are your motivations for wanting riches and wealth? The Apostle warns that,
“those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing.” [1 Timothy 6:9, emphasis mine].
What does this mean then? Should we all avoid wealth and riches like the plague and remain poor and broke? Proponents of this belief have cited Matthew 19:24, “(Jesus speaking) Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God”. But who was Jesus referring to when he says “rich man”? In Mark 10:23-24, we see that by “rich man”, He was referring to those who trust in riches…”Children, how hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God”. There is absolutely nothing wrong in gaining wealth, but those who find themselves in this position should not, “set their hopes in uncertain riches, but on God…” [1 Timothy 6:17a]. One can certainly be rich but have a heart after God. Likewise, one can be poor and make that poverty, an idol.
Jesus Christ should be our example in everything, including our attitude about wealth and riches. For Jesus, knowing who He was, and whose He was, did not let money influence Him on this earth. He wasn't concerned about that because He knew that all He needed would be provided for. He wasn't necessarily rich by human standards, but that didn't matter to Him. He was only concerned about completing His earthly mission and accomplishing what God sent Him to earth to accomplish.
The fact is that whatever we have and attain in this life has been given to us by Almighty God. He entrusts us with riches so we can become good stewards of it, for how can the Gospel of the Kingdom be spread without money. Money is a much needed commodity, but our trust should be in God alone, who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment (1 Tim 6:17b). Don't worry needlessly about money, but seek after God first of all, and everything you need will be there at your disposal (Matt 6:33). And if you have wealth, you have a great opportunity to be a blessing. Live open-handed and more will certainly come. We are not supposed to be a reservoir that contains God's blessings but a channel by which His blessings can flow.
Yes, money does talk, and often speaks loudly. What will it say about you?