You have probably been told by someone that money is the root of all evil. That is a profound statement but grossly misleading. How is this so?
Lets Dig Into the Statement “Money Is The Root Of All Evil”
Let’s take a look at some of the popular sources used to try to prove that money is indeed the root of all evil. First is the popular Bible verse 1 Timothy 6:10 (King James Version), “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Another popular source is another bible verse Matthew 19:24 (King James Version), “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
Similar views have been expressed in other major religions.
Let’s consider them, the first bible verse. In the text, in order to make the distinction, the verse says the “Love of money” not “Money” alone.
The second verse from Mathew is also riddled with different interpretations but the popular agreement is that it was used to express the fact that rich people will have to unload a lot of spiritual baggage resulting from different conditions money may have evoked in them.
A good example is getting attached to material things that have been bought with money and form part of wealth. Statistically, if you have water, electricity, make a decent income and have a house, you are probably among the top “Rich People” in the world. For there are people without basic needs such as housing, running water and food. That then would mean a lot of people are rich.
The bible is full of many parables and stories which aren’t to be taken literally. These are among the lot which shouldn’t be taken literally.
So, what do these texts seek to get across?
Greed and Avarice Vs Importance of Money
It has been said that the texts aren’t discouraging us from making and using money. But they also hold a deep message for all. Money can easily become a master. Like man tools, money isn’t a good master.
Therefore, the bible says we can’t serve two masters. We can’t love both money and God but we must choose one. It doesn’t also mean don’t spend money or make it. Just don’t love it more than God. The message is against greed and avarice associated with having more.
Another great call, especially with the Mathew verse is that we must detach ourselves from our possessions. The young rich man obviously was attached to them that when asked to sell his possessions, he became sad.
Money has No Will, No Thoughts and Cannot Act
I have used the word “Tool” to talk about money because that is what money is. Humans in some centuries identified that money could help the world.
Hence it was invented as a measure of value, a legal medium of exchange among other things. We invented money for our own benefit, not for it to use us for its end.
In addition to that, money cannot act of its own will. It is the bearer of money who determines whether the money has a good or bad effect on him. The bearer of money also determines what it is used for. Money could be donated to charity and the same money could be used to facilitate child trafficking. It is up to the bearer to resist and do what is right.
Cons / Disadvantages of Money
1. The pursuit of Money Through Greed Can Destroy You
Pursuing money can lead to so many things but chief among them is greed. Greed is among the deadly sins. And for good reason at that. When you want more even at the expense of others, you can set yourself down a dark path of doing anything and everything just to get money.
2. The Temptation to Serve Money
Money is supposed to serve us. But as the bible says, some make money their masters when they love money, excessively. Thus, living for money instead of God. This leads to numerous temptations such as engaging in crime, being jealous of others, etc.
These tendencies make us slaves to money as we put money at the centre of our lives.
3. Money is often Used as Social Status Indicator
Many strive to make money at all costs because of the prestige of riches and special treatments given to rich people. Society automatically respects rich people. They get the best of treatment by even Kings and Presidents.
But we have got it all wrong. Your money counts for nothing if you aren’t humane. If you have little love for others, you are the least in the kingdom. So, it isn’t much of the money you have but about the amount of love you have in your heart.
4. Money Can Be Addictive: Greed Again
Most rich people agree that the more you get money, the more you want it. This is because you feel you might lose it all, hence the fear. You also want more to be able to keep up with your current lifestyle and to enjoy even more luxury. This isn’t necessarily bad but when done excessively may be as a result of an even deeper sin, greed.
Pros / Advantages of Money
1. Money Can be a Power for Good
As Kids, I remember Haiti had an earthquake and the country Ghana (Where I am from) decided to donate. We little children, we first contributed and later went from house to house seeking donations to be sent to the citizens of Haiti.
We aren’t rich, but we could make a little change to the lives of people we have no chance of even seeing. The little things that we can do when we have little, we can do in abundance when we have even more. Money allows us to bless the lives of others and to spread good and love in the world.
2. Money Shows You Probably Provided Enough Value
To earn money (Honestly), you must have provided some form of value to someone who then rewards you with money. If your main source of income is a job like many people, you only get paid when you have satisfactorily done your work (Value).
If you are a business person, you get rewarded when you execute a service or sell a product.
That way, everyone can work for their living as God said we would have to toil. That essentially means the richest people have provided high-quality products and/or services to a large number of people.
There are many examples of this. Jeff Bezos, the current richest person in the world has through his company helped many people ranging from sellers on Amazon, buyers, created jobs, etc.
3. Money Provides Freedom to Pursue Causes You Love
It is said that money doesn’t make us bad, it merely reveals us. And I find it true. Money gives you the freedom to do most of the things you want.
You can buy a nice car, have all the nice things in life. It also allows you to make a positive change such as donating for a cause, empowering others, helping others to pursue their dreams, etc.
4. Money Is Used as a Measure of Value
Money communicates money as already mentioned. One of the original uses of money was as a measure of value. And this was backed by gold.
So, if an item or serve was said to be a certain amount, it could actually be used to redeem gold worth the same amount.
Eventually, paper or fiat money became the norm without the backing of gold. But in essence, money still communicates. Several countries still keep gold reserves.
5. Money is a Tool Hence can’t Cause Anything
Money is merely a tool to be used. And this is good because the power to act now belongs to the bearer of the said amount. The person gets to do what they want with it, to save or invest, to spend and what to spend on.
The power of money is that it can be a force for good. But that depends on whose hands it’s in. But do not let the notion that money is evil get to you because money is very important, just not that important to sacrifice certain things for. When you are empowered with money, bless someone. Let’s live for each other.