Is Money Evil?

Many people believe that money is evil. They get this idea from I Tim. 6:10. This is why they look down on people who have a lot of money. However, I Tim. 6:10 does not say that money is evil. In fact, money is neither good nor evil. It is how important something is to us that makes anything good or evil.

What the Bible Says

I Tim. 6:10 (NIV) says: “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.”

Notice that it says nothing about money being evil. In fact, even the love of money is not evil. So what is this passage really saying? What is evil about money? First, let’s find out exactly what the Greek word that is translated “evil” really mean.

Definition of Evil

The word that is translated “evil” comes from the Greek “kakos” that literally means “worthless.” This is in contrast to another Greek word for “evil” that could have been used. It is “poneros” and it means “depraved, injurious, bad, evil, harm, ill, noisome, wicked.” So, what we think of as evil is not even addressed in this passage.

This passage is telling us that the love of money will lead us into all kinds of worthless activities. What is worthless? Anything that will lead us away from God. Anything that will keep us from living as God created us to live. The activity does not have to be “evil” as we think of evil. It is just something that will lead us away from what God wants us to have.

This can mean anything that is not inherently evil but can lead us away from God. This can mean different things to different people. For some people, a certain activity will not lead them away from God, but for others, that same activity will lead them far from God.

For instance, some people going fishing on Sunday will do nothing to lead them away from God. For other people, fishing on Sunday will lead them to the idea that fishing is just as important to them as worshiping God in church. This can eventually lead them away from God.

Love of Money

The Greek word translated love here is “philarguros” that means “to be so fond of something that you are covetous of it.” It carries with it the idea of being grabby or greedy. In other words, it becomes a driving force in your life.

Of course, this is referring to more than just money. It includes any kind of wealth or material goods. So, this passage is really talking about any material wealth or possessions.

The Root of All Evil

The root of something is that which feeds the rest of the plant. It is where all of the nourishment for the plant comes from. Without the proper nourishment, the plant will die.

This is the same with us, unless we get the proper nourishment, we will die. And this verse is telling us that the love of money will not give us the nourishment we need to have real life. In fact, it is telling us that when we make material possessions the most important things in our life, we will drift away from God and His salvation.

A Good Explanation

Actually, I Tim 6:9 gives us a very good explanation of what verse 10 means. (NIV): “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.”

This is not saying that making money is evil in itself. It is saying that when we set out to make ourselves rich, we will fall into temptations that can easily lead us away from God. We will be led into different traps that can plunge us into circumstances that can lead us into ruin and destruction.

I believe that this is exactly why God will not lead some people to make a lot of money. He knows that they will be led into temptations that will destroy their lives. Remember, God knows you better than you do. Here is something to think about. If you are not able to get rich, perhaps God is trying to protect you from yourself.

Getting rich has ruined many people. When we get rich, it is very easy to get the idea that we do not need anyone or anything else, and that includes our need for God. Wealth creates temptations that we cannot imagine when we do not have wealth. That is why God is giving us this warning.

We worship that which is the most important to us. If God (Jesus) is the most important thing in our life, we will spend our time worshiping and having fellowship with God. If creating wealth is the most important thing in our life, we will spend our time in that activity.

There Are Traps All Around Us

A trap is just that, a trap. If you are aware of the different types of traps, you can spot them and stay clear of them. However, if you are concentrating on getting something that you see ahead of you and forget about the traps that are around you, you will fall into one of them.

The trap for many people is that when they start to get rich, they want nothing more than to get richer. This is the trap that God is warning us about. The trap is that the richer we get, the more important those riches mean to us.

Even the poor can fall into one of these traps. When making money becomes too important to us, we will never see the traps. Then one day, we will find ourselves in one of these traps and wonder how we got there. This can happen to anyone whether we currently have much money or not.

Does This Mean That Money Is Evil?

No! Money is not evil. This passage is very clear on this. It is when we make getting rich the driving force in our life that evil enters the picture.

What we do with our money and how important it is to us is what makes it good or evil. This is why Jesus warns us in Matthew 6:24 (NIV): “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

We must remember that, as humans, we will serve and worship that which is the most important to us. If making money is the most important thing to us, we will serve and worship money. If God is the most important thing to us, we will serve and worship God. It is impossible to do both.

Money Is Necessary For God’s Work

Money is very important for bringing people into the saving knowledge of Jesus. Unless enough people have enough money to give, other people could not give up making a living in the secular world and going as missionaries to people who have never heard the Gospel.

In order for the Gospel to be spread with any efficiency and speed, we need preachers, teachers, missionaries, etc. that are supported by Christians who have money to give for this cause.

God also tells us to take care of the poor. Some say: “Let the government do it.” But the truth is, if you give $100 for the government to use and $100 for a Christian organization to use, 2 to 3 times as many people (or more) will be helped by the Christian organization. This has been proven over and over.

What Are You Doing With Your Money?

God wants you to make money so His commandments can be fulfilled. If you are capable of making lots of money, what are you doing with it? Has it made you a better Christian or has it kept you from doing what God wants you to do? If God has blessed you with riches, you will have to answer to Him for how you used that blessing.


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