Stuff Christians Need to Stop Saying #5

What are the reasons that you would make a fifth installment to your franchise?  There seem to be only a handful of reasons:

1) You are such a pop culture phenomenon that you could keep making movies until the end of time and your people will come see them–Star Wars (7), Harry Potter (6 and counting), and Star Trek (11).

2) You have an amazing character and can consistently rework the franchise–Batman (7 live action and multiple animated), Superman (5 live action), James Bond (20+)

3) You have no pride and will crank out cheap movies like crazy–Horror Movies (Jason, Freddy, Saw), Stupid teen movies (Not Another, Scary Movie, etc.), Mediocre kid movies (Beethoven, Barbie, etc.)

Anyone thinking I have pride and won’t crank out cheap product is sadly mistaken.

Set-up: Someone goes through some sort of financial difficulty that results in some sort of sin, like greed or theft.

Response: It’s like the Bible says, “money is the root of all evil.”

Let us all be clear.  First of all, that is not what the Bible says.  Repeat, that is not what the Bible says, unless you put in some well-placed ellipses.  What the verse says 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.

My question is do we intentionally misquote this verse?  Why would we do that?  Well, if money is the root and not the love of money then I get off the hook.  It’s not my fault; it’s “money’s” fault.  This makes money some entity that has some power and control, like the googly-eyed money from the Geico commercials. 

I always feel like...Somebody's watching me.

I always feel like...Somebody's watching me.

It is not money that causes evil, but our love of money.

Furthermore, it is not the root of all evil.  It is a root of all kinds of evil.  We tend to exaggerate things that we don’t like or understand.  The more ridiculous we can make something sound, the more that we can discount it.  If we say money is the root of all evil, we know that’s not true, so then we can discount the truth that is there.  Money, or even the love of money, is not why I am impatient with my kids or I am lazy.  Even when the love of money is a root, it is not always the root.  The financial arguments we have with our spouse are rooted both in the love of money and selfishness.

However, if we look at what that verse says, we rightly should be convicted.  Our love of money, the fact that we give our pursuit of money top priority in our lives over significantly more important areas, causes a lot of problems.  It divides husbands and wives.  It leads to neglect of children and family.  It leads to dishonesty, coveting, stealing.  It pushes God out of the leadership of our lives.  I typed “it” to describe the love of money.  However, the love of money comes from within. Change “it” to “I” and then we have something (you will also have to change some verb tenses.  Shut up, grammar nerd).

Dude! Why bring this up?  Well, first I wanted to show you that pastors can talk about money and not bring up tithing (whoops.  FAIL).  Second, it breaks my heart to see the love of money tear families apart and pull people away from God.  Enjoy what God has given you, use it to glorify him and strengthen your family, but don’t let your love and pursuit consume you.

Money is just an inanimate thing, meant to be controlled by you and surrendered to God’s authority.  Don’t let the googly-eyed money wad control you.


5 Responses to “Stuff Christians Need to Stop Saying #5”
  1. El Davo says:

    The love of gold is the stem of all sorts of evil.

  2. David Hicks says:

    Good points. Especially about “A root of ALL KINDS of evil.”
    And also how we use such a verse to distance ourselves from the real issue.

    The issue is not money itself, never was. Not even wealth. This “love of money” passage is a leadership issue that Paul was advising Timothy on. Sticking to the context, he was talking about renegade leaders who build personal followings and live off them. And the ensuing division, distortion and ruin.

    Just a few verses later, Paul takes a very positive stance with Timothy on how to disciple believers who happen to be rich. If money itself was the root problem, or even the time and energy it takes to be “rich in this world”, I’d think his advice would be very different.

    When I unpack this section in one of my seminars, it’s so much fun to watch the burden lift from people’s thinking!

  3. Aaron Reddin says:

    My great granny always said that “if money’s the root of all evil, just gimmie some more root!!!”

    Bless her soul lol

  4. Larry says:

    A point that needs to be preached more often. Our love of wealth and riches in this country, especially among professing Christians has reached epidemic proportions. And the results of this are predictably devastating, both inside and outside the Church.

  5. Grobmyer says:

    The bible is full of lessons of moderation as leading to mental and physical health. It is not food that is bad, it’s gluttony. It’s not rest that is bad, it’s sloth. It’s not sex that’s bad, it’s lust and infidelity. It’s not drink that is evil itself, it is drunkenness. And it isn’t money that’s the problem, it’s an obsession with it. It’s just money. It’s just stuff. It will all fade away. I believe that your body is a temple of God, and these are lessons to take care of it, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Understanding this really helps guide you through what is important in life, which saves those marriages you were talking about (I can personally attest to this one!), saves your sanity, and makes you happier, healthier, and wiser. I’m not trying to sound like I have all the answers, but my worldview has been so altered by recent events I want to shout it from the rooftops!

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