What Does the Bible Say About Money?

 

Have you ever heard someone misquote the Bible by saying, “Money is the root of all evil”?   The scripture actually reads, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” This verse can be found in 1 Timothy 6:10, where an aging apostle Paul offers pastoral advice to a young pastor named Timothy, who was working in the church at Ephesus.  Looking at this verse in context with the surrounding verses provides additional perspective as to at what the Bible has to say about money.

 

1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NIV)

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

 

Some Bible scholars believe that that Paul came from a wealthy family.   While there is no true evidence of this, we do know that Paul experienced both “plenty” and “want”. In Philippians 4:12, he writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Here, Paul speaks to Timothy about how a state of godliness with contentment is a good place to be.  This advice is something that Christians should take to heart. Many times, we find ourselves in a place of worry and striving, which is opposite of godly contentment.

 

1 Timothy 6:9-10 (NIV)

9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 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.”

 

The Bible does not say that being rich is a sin. In fact, there are examples in Scripture of God blessing His servants with tremendous material wealth. (Genesis 39:2, 1 Samuel 18:14, 2 Chronicles 1:11-12)

Paul is speaking of “those who want to get rich” and those who are “eager for money”.  Just as in the days of Paul and Timothy, today’s world continues to provide stories of ruin and destruction for people who place their priority on money instead of God.  We can also take note that Paul says the love of money is a root (not the root).  This indicates that while the love of money is one root, it is not the only root to evil.  Satan uses many different “roots” to carry out his work of destruction.

 

1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV)

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

 

Anyone who watches the stock market knows putting their hope in money is an exercise in futility.  The love of God is the only constant in our world. Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God’s love for mankind, along with his forgiveness and faithfulness, provides a safe haven for our hope.

 

1 Timothy 6:18-19 (NIV)

18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

Continuing his instruction to the rich, Paul points out the importance of generosity and good deeds. For the Christian, rich or poor, it is important to acknowledge that blessings come from God. When a believer acts in accordance with the will of God, he or she is investing in heavenly rewards. Paul ends verse 19 by pointing out that the best life is one lived serving others.

 

We hear so many wonderful reports from our missionaries that demonstrate people living their best life as they serve others. A recent example is that of Emma, a dynamic woman who is the MAI Area Coordinator for Papua New Guinea. Though not a trained coffee expert, she has worked hard in becoming one. Returning to her father’s traditional land and an idle coffee mill after years of education in Australia including a Master’s degree in Health Policy and Planning, she was prepared to blend business with mission.

Defining it as a Social Enterprise, her goals are People-Planet-Prosperity, which in CHE terms translates to harmony with each other, self, the environment, and God. Profits are returned to PNG to sustain the CHE programs in the communities, including the Area Coordinator and other trainers who need travel funds to keep visiting communities.

 

Hear from Emma in the video below! 

YouTube video