1 Timothy 6:6 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; 8 but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
In this letter the apostle Paul is giving counsel to his young protege Timothy. In our passage above Paul names the potential hazards of pursuing material things and wealth/money. Verse 10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…”.
I’ve heard this verse interpreted as “Money is the root of all evil”, which is not what the verse actually says. Money is just a resource like time or health or information or education or whatever. It can be used for good or ill. It just so happens the love of money, and all the things money can buy, is a temptation for many people. Myself included.
One of the most powerful weapons against the temptation which money offers is the practice of the tithe – returning to God 10% or more of our income. As Christians, practicing the tithe is an important way to acknowledge who our provider really is. It is God, from whom all good things flow. The love of money is revealed when I feel the need to hold on to as much as possible, even if it means giving less than a full tithe. It’s a clue that I am not ready to trust the Lord with my provision, but feel the need to take care of it myself – with my own hard word and planning and investing. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t work and plan and invest, but that is not the source of our provision. God is the source.
Gracious God, money can be a trap for us. For me. Money is not evil, but my handling of money can reveal where my heart is. Give me grace to trust you completely, whether I have much or little. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.