“Money is the root of all evil.” How many times have we heard this quote? It always seems to pop up here and there at different times for different reasons. One person could be talking about how much money they sold something for when all of sudden another person will say, “Money is the root of all evil.”
It’s also the answer for some questions, like: What would you do if you wont the Lottery? Answer: Money is the root of all evil.
Is money really the root of all evil? No. ‘Tis a lie, really. (Kudos if you read that last line with an English accent. Double-kudos for Scottish.)
Money is an inanimate object. It’s merely a tool that is no different than a hammer, knife or wrench. Tools, in the hands of masters, people of sound morals and character, can be used to accomplish great things such as fixing a leaky roof; They can help a car’s engine run smoother; Or even cut out cancer.
In the hands of a tyrant or bully, tools are destructive. They can be used to oppress, destroy, maim and even kill.
Money clearly isn’t the root of all evil as money cannot accomplish anything in and of itself. It needs a catalyst. Just like a hammer needs somebody to swing it in order for it to accomplish anything, money needs somebody to spend it. Otherwise it just sits there.
If money isn’t the root of all evil, then where did the quote come from? It is actually a mis-quote of “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10) So money isn’t the root of all evil. It’s the love of money that is the root. Even so, the love of money isn’t the root of all evil. It’s the root of all kinds of evil. That means that the love of money is the root of a vast variety of evils, but it is not the root of all evil that exists.
One of the problems with money is that it’s a tool that everyone needs to use. The wise and the fool alike have to use money, though the fool and their money are usually soon parted. The just and the unjust both need to use it. Unfortunately in this world, we can’t get away from it.
The biggest problem with money is people. People look at having a lot of money as having power. If they need or want something done, they pay somebody to do it. If they wrong another person, they try to pay that person off. Even if that person’s loss is something you can’t put a price tag on.
Greed. Lust for power. Pride. These things can be fed by money. But they’re never satisfied.
Steve Taylor wrote a great song called Cash Cow (A Rock Opera In Three Small Acts) Part of the lyrics are:
I was young and needed the money
I had money and needed more money
I was filthy rich and all I wanted was love
And a little more money
On the flip side of the coin, those who need or want money will do the bidding for those who have money. Some will even demean themselves for the almighty dollar. The borrower truly is a slave to the lender.
Want to know more about a person’s character? Watch how they make their money. Watch how they handle their money. Watch how they give of their money.
(Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash)