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Is Money the Root of All Evil?

(The following is the October 2 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read 1 Timothy 6 and pay close attention to verses 3-10.)

Have you heard anyone say, “money is the root of all evil”? They may think it’s a biblical quote, but it isn’t. Paul taught that “godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these” (vv. 6-8). This attitude is similar to his words about contentment in Philippians 4:11-13. Paul continues telling Timothy about the dangers of greed: “But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (vv. 9-10). The problem is not money itself but the love of money. It can capture one's heart, priorities, and time, thereby taking Jesus’ rightful place at the center of our lives.

How should Christians respond to this temptation to love money? By pairing the contentment Paul describes with eagerness to use one’s resources for God’s glory rather than oneself. Imagine the good for others one can do with money. Church history is filled with positive impacts, from evangelistic efforts to meeting human needs through food, clothing, shelter, medical services, adoption, orphan care, education, etc. All such ministries require money. Is the money funding them “the root of all evil”? Of course not. Christians give to accomplish these purposes because we love people more than money.

Whether you have much or little, view money as a means to glorify God, serving as a faithful steward of what he entrusts to you.

Next Step:

What place does money have in your heart? Does your love for it rival Jesus’ rightful place? How do you use money to glorify God?

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