Jesus revealed a stark contrast between your Heavenly Father’s desire to bless you and the devil’s plan to rob you: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
This leaves each of us with an important choice. Will we embrace our Father’s plan to give us an abundant life, or will we fall prey to Satan’s plan to steal and lie to us?
I want to help you recognize and overcome the lies that will keep you from experiencing the abundant life God intends. “Money is the root of all evil.”
This is a common misquote of 1 Timothy 6:10, which actually says, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” Although the misquote may seem minor and harmless at first, the ramifications are profound.
The erroneous quote differs from the true quote in three primary ways:
By leaving out the word “love,” the misquote gives the false impression that money itself is evil. This is clearly not the case at all! If money is inherently evil, why would the master in the Parable of the Talents give it to his servants (Matthew 25:14-30)? And if wealth always leads its recipients to a downfall, why does the Bible tell us the Lord “gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers” (Deuteronomy 8:18)?
“A root.” By saying “THE root” instead of “A root,” the incorrect translation gives the misleading impression that EVERY evil in the world is connected to money. No doubt, money has motivated greedy people to participate in many kinds of sinful behavior throughout human history: murder, fraud, theft, embezzlement, etc. But other “roots” of evil could be cited as well: such as lust, pride, envy, laziness, and anger. Jesus pointed to the human heart as a more fundamental source of evil than money or any other specific motivation: “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19).
The correct translation of this verse is not “all evil” but “all kinds of evil.” This is a significant difference. While the love of money can trigger evil behavior at times, it certainly doesn’t cause ALL evil! Rather, Paul’s point is simply that people’s love for money and other material possessions can result in many different kinds of sinful behavior. Clearly so.
So the real issue is not whether or not people are rich, but rather whether people are setting their affection on their wealth or on God.
Paul tells his protégé Timothy that wealthy people must be careful not to put their trust in their money:
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
In my experience, it seems many poor people are even more “in love” with money than wealthy people. Why? Because from sunup to sundown, they find themselves obsessed with making ends meet. Living from paycheck to paycheck, having enough money becomes their main focus in life.
A Personal Example
In 1990, God led me to steward a Christian TV network that has grown into Inspiration Ministries. It was quite a step of faith, but the Lord has honored it. Today over a billion people around the world have access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the media outreaches of International Ministry!
Of course, none of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the sacrificial giving of our partners. It takes LOTS of money to reach the world with the Gospel through the new technologies available.
We live in sobering times. Now more than ever, the body of Christ needs to rise up and finance the End-Time Harvest of souls. We need to Sow sacrificial financial Seeds to send the light of the Gospel to the nations while it’s still “day”—because the night is coming when no one can work (John 9:4).
This is just another example of how money can be a powerful tool either for good or for evil. People can invest “a large sum of money” either to spread the truth or to finance lies.
Loving the Lord
In the final analysis, the primary issue regarding money is whether we love the Lord so much that He can entrust us with abundant financial resources. Just as you wouldn’t entrust a car to your teen unless you were convinced they would drive responsibly, why should God entrust great financial resources to those who are untrustworthy stewards?
One of the reasons God gave great riches to Abraham is that He knew Abraham would be faithful to “be a blessing” to others (Genesis 12:2). He also demonstrated his understanding that everything he had was the gift of God:
He tithed from everything he received (Genesis 14:18-20).
He was willing even to put his dear son Isaac on the altar in loving obedience to God (Genesis 22).
So what about you? Are you more in love with the Lord than with the things He can give you?
God wants to bless you beyond your wildest dreams! As Peter experienced with the miracle catch of fish in John 21, the Lord wants to give you a miracle Harvest far greater than you could ever expect. However, as He gives you this overflowing abundance, He will ask you the same question He asked Peter: “Do you love Me?” (vs. 15-17).
God bless you!