What is the Bible talking about when it says “the love of money is the root of all evil”?
This verse is found in the book of 1 Timothy and has led to so much confusion about money and the Christian life.
Many people misinterpret this verse to mean that God doesn’t want us to have money, that money is somehow inherently evil. But this is not what the Bible is warning us about.
The verse does not say that money is the root of all evil. It says the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.
The Bible is warning us that when we begin to trust and love money more than we trust and love God, we will get off track.
This verse is warning us not to covet after money. Loving money more than you love God will cause sorrow after sorrow in your life.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10
You can trace the love of money to all evil in this world. This is why we are warned to keep our lives free from the love of money.
Keep your lives free from the love of money. And be satisfied with what you have. God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 ICB
Does this mean that it is wrong to possess money? No. In fact, financial wealth is a part of the blessing of God on your life (Proverbs 10:22).
But it becomes dangerous when you love money. When we love money, we open the door for the spirit of mammon to rule our lives. When this happens, it’s impossible to serve God (Matthew 6:24).
When we love money, we become greedy, and it becomes idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
What is the Love of Money?
The love of money is the system that binds you to the world. It operates on greed and covetousness, which God strongly warns us about.
When you begin to get your identity from the money in the bank, or your title at work, or the car you drive, you have fallen into the love of money This is foolishness. Our identity comes from God alone.
And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Luke 12:15 NKJV
When you love money, you place your physical needs above your relationship with God. The truth is that no one can take better care of us than our God, and He has already made provisions for everything we will need in this life (2 Peter 1:3).
This idea that we must take care of ourselves independent from God comes from an orphan spirit- from being born separated from our Father.
We were born orphans, and with it came a mindset that we must take care of ourselves. We believe that if we don’t provide for our own needs and chase after money, that no one will look out for us.
I once heard a story about an orphan boy who was adopted into a loving family. When he first arrived into the family, he would eat everything in the kitchen and even hide food in his bedroom. He didn’t realize that a good father continually provides. The supply doesn’t stop after one meal.
We also were adopted into God’s loving family, where the supply doesn’t run out. There’s no longer a need to fend for ourselves.
There’s no longer a need to cheat and steal and compete, because we belong to the royal family. It’s a mindset change that most Christians haven’t experienced.
When you were born again, you were adopted back into the family of God. You’re no longer an orphan.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5 NLT
Are You in Bondage to the World’s System of Money and Greed?
Tragically, most Christians carry some degree of a love of money in their hearts. Not necessarily because they want to be a billionaire, but because they love their life and believe that they must spend their lives accumulating money.
If we were honest, many Christians would admit that we get security and a feeling of safety from having money rather than from our relationship with God.
Jesus said that those who give up their life for His sake are the ones who find it.
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:26 NKJV
God never said that when we stop chasing money that we will go broke and live a life of lack. This is what we fear and why we hold on to the idea that we must provide for ourselves.
But the truth is that Jesus has redeemed us from a life of poverty and lack and poured His blessing on us (Galatians 3:13-14).
He encourages us to stop chasing money, and instead chase Him and His Kingdom. Believe that He is your Source. This is a wonderful way to live.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33 NKJV
When we receive Him as our Source and accept the truth that He wants to abundantly provide, we begin to receive beyond what we could have ever done on our own, without the sorrow.
The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22 NKJV
Do You Worry About Money?
The love of money causes you to worry about money all the time. Will there be enough? What if the economy tanks? What if I lose my job? These thoughts may seem completely normal to most people, but they’re not supposed to be normal.
These worries tie people up in bondage, so that they can’t serve God freely or wholeheartedly (Matthew 6:24).
They want to serve God, but they’re in bondage to fear of not having enough money or running out of money. But just like in every other area of life, Jesus provides freedom from bondage!
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free… Galatians 5:1 NIV
Is it possible that if we seek first the Kingdom of God, that He will provide all we need? This is exactly what the Bible teaches.
We can be free from the love of money. We can trust wholeheartedly that God is a good Father who will never stop providing.