Friday, August 21, 2009

Is Money the Root of all evil?

Does God want you to be poor? Or, is it that he simply doesn't want you to be rich? Who says, and why? This is one of the great misnomers of Christian believers, far too many have been raised to believe that "Money is the root of all evil," and it is somehow spiritual suicide to have wealth. This is nonsense, but deeply ingrained in far to many of us, and still being taught.

You may think that I am being blasphemous saying such things, I assure you I am not. It is easy to understand how these things might come to be when we try to look at many of the parables from Jesus in a literal instead of a teaching example. Jesus was a truly great communicator, and teacher, and he taught with stories that related to the everyday understanding of his audience. He lived among us during an agrarian age and taught often using terms from agriculture. Most were of things those hearing could easily relate to from their own experiences. One of those answers was when Jesus was talking to the rich young man who wanted to follow Jesus, and when Jesus told him to give away all his wealth and then follow Him, the young man went away disappointed since he had great wealth. At this Jesus said this:

"Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24.

Surely this proves that God doesn't want you to have a lot of money doesn't it? Not at all.
Once again we must look at the context of the time He was living and to the everyday understanding of those he was speaking. The "Eye of the Needle" was at that time a gateway into the city. It was narrow and somewhat pointed on top. For a camel to go through it into the city, it must first be brought to it's knees and remove it's burden to enter. What Jesus was saying to his disciples, and to us, was not that we can't have wealth or possessions, it is that we must be careful that things don't possess us. It is what do we treasure with our hearts that count, do we treasure our relationship with God, or that new car the most?

We have all heard that "Money is the root of all evil," haven't we? However, that is not the true quote anymore than Sarah Palin ever said "I can see Russia from my House," that was Tina Fey spoofing Palin that said that. The true quote is;

"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."

The Love of money is a very different thing indeed, it is once again about who and what possesses your heart. God has never said, "you can make this much, and have just this much, and not go over to stay in my good graces." If he did, wouldn't you and I both want to know what that number was so we could aspire to get just underneath it? Of course that isn't true, we have just become confused through too many of our ministries.

Let's take a look at King David who was one of the richest men the world had ever known. David was anything but a perfect man, he was very flawed in his character, he was guilty of the sins of lust, envy, adultery, and murder to name but four. Yet God would chastise him, but continued to support him.

"Then God removed Saul and made David their king, about whom he testified, 'I have found that David, the son of Jesse, is a man after my own heart, who will carry out all my wishes."

No matter what David would always turn back to God, repent of his sins, and kept his heart focused on his relationship with God.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:34

That is the point of the eye of the needle, the "love of money is the root of all evil", and "where your treasure is," are all trying to teach us.

God wants you to succeed, as a Christian you are a child of God, the King's kid, he wants good things for you, but he wants you to keep him first in your heart and in your life.

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