Money: The Root of All Evil ?
A couple of years ago, I had the honour of speaking to a small group of clergy in Lagos, Nigeria on this topic. As soon as I unveiled the first money myth, a man in his mid forties exclaimed “Yes! It’s true. Money is the root of all evil!” He obviously ignored the question mark at the end of the statement which implied I was asking a question rather than making a statement. The drama and argument that ensued among them afterwards could pass for a 3 minute comedy skit.
Is money truly the root of all evil?
Why then do religious organisations hold fundraising meetings and raise offerings?
This cliche is a misquote or misinterpretation of a verse in the bible. The original script reads:
“For the LOVE of money is the root of all evil…”
~ I Timothy 6:10 (*KJV)
Avarice and stinginess are matters of the heart NOT matters of the purse! A greedy man is so NOT because of what he has stashed up in his bank account but because of what he has lodged in his heart. He who is close-fisted with little cannot be philanthropic when he has abundance of possessions! I have met a few poor men who actually love money more than the wealthy. They simply CAN’T afford to part with a dime no matter what!
Money is not the root of evil neither is it necessarily the fruit of good. Money is simple what it is – MONEY. It is a tool and just like any other tool or implement, it can be abused, underutilised or used skillfully and purposefully. In other words, put this tool called money in the hands of a good, generous man who is knowledgeable and skilled, it becomes an object for positive change and impact. Put the same tool in the hands of an unskilled person or a wicked soul and it becomes a tool of destruction for propagating evil.
There is a purpose for money and there are skills that must be acquired in order to effectively maximise and engage this tool. Every skillful player understands that there are rules that must be obeyed in order to win the money game.
“When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable.”
~ Myles Munroe
It is important to note that money is not supposed to be an object of pursuit. There is a correct positioning of the mind and hands that makes you a money magnet. When money becomes the sole essence of living, an object of pursuit that is highly coveted after, it becomes a demi-god or an idol – an object of worship! Anyone, rich or poor, educated or not can fall prey to this.
Money has never been and will never be the cause of evil. Money does not change people. It only reveals the true state of our hearts – good or evil. As a matter of fact, evil thrives in any environment where there are not enough good men with means.
*KJV – King James Version
“The lack of money is the root of evil.”
~ Samuel L. Clemens