Is the Bible against having a lot of Money?
1 Timothy 6:10 is often misquoted as saying “money is the root of all evil” when in fact it does say “the love of money is the root of all evil.” The Bible is not against having money or wealth but warns against the love of money and the relentless pursuit of money.
The Bible does mention righteous men who were wealthy and God-fearing at the same time. Job was a very wealthy man who was considered to be “a man blameless and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad.” At Job 1:3 his material possession is described this way: “And his livestock got to be seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels and five hundred spans of cattle and five hundred she-asses, along with a very large body of servants.”
Solomon, one of David’s sons, was another servant of God who had wealth in abundance. His vast wealth included “forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots and twelve thousand horsemen.” 1 Kings 4:26
Clearly the concern here is not money itself. 1 Timothy 6:10 describes the danger as a pursuit of money or wealth that has led some “astray from the faith.”
The love of money makes money one’s master, or god. The Bible warns us at Matthew 5:24 “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. YOU cannot slave for God and for Riches.”
Money is not just a cruel master but a deceitful one as well. Jesus Christ warns of “the deceptive power of riches.” (Mark 4:19) Riches have deceived many by promising happiness but failing to deliver. Riches tend to create a craving for more. Wise King Solomon made this observation: “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” Ecclesiastes 5:10 (New Living Translation)
The love of money and the needless pursuit of excesses can also affect one’s health. Wise King Solomon noted that “People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep.” Ecclesiastes 5:12 (New Living Translation)
In the pursuit of wealth some have also engaged in unethical and criminal conduct. Proverbs 28:20 make us aware of this danger when it says, “he that is hastening to gain riches will not remain innocent.”
Sleepless nights, stress, anxiety, marital failures and stroke are not uncommon for those who are preoccupied with excessive wealth.
The Bible give us a healthy view of money when it suggests: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ ” Hebrews 13:5
The Bible also encourages us to “Keep YOUR eyes open and guard against every sort of covetousness, because even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” Luke 12:15
©Jonathan Oct. 18, 2010