Is money the root of all evil?
That question refers to what was written in the Bible in 1 Timothy 6:10.
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.
Do you believe that?
More importantly, do you believe that, because you’ve heard that and were raised in a culture that to one degree or another espouses that, you do not make as much money as you’d like?
Many people use that quotation as a scapegoat for that very reason. They posit that since they believe that “money is the root of all evil,” they tend to shun money, either consciously or subconsciously.
Is that true?
I was raised Roman Catholic. I went to a parochial school for grades one through six. I was an altar boy in church as well as a church lector. I received all of the sacraments. I am one of the few people I know that has read the Bible cover to cover.
Through it all, I don’t recall ever being hammered with the notion of money being the root of all evil. (Or even the love of money, for that matter!) I’m not stating that I never heard it, just that there was never any emphasis placed on it. In the very few times that line from Timothy was discussed, it was correctly quoted and correctly interpreted: that if one were to covet money so greatly that he would lie, cheat, or steal, then that would lead to his demise.
That’s how I learned it — and that’s how most people with whom I’ve discussed this interpret it.
That’s the first thing that lead me to think that the notion that people everywhere are not wealthy because of their “flawed relationship” with money based on that line was incorrect.
The next thing that made me pause was the fact that I have never met anyone — and I mean anyone! — who, when asked if they would like more money, refused the offer?
Think about it. Have you or anyone you’ve ever known ever run away from money?
Of course not. It’s silly. More often than not, we have to actively protect our money from being stolen from us!
The last straw, so to speak, is the fact that the United States was founded on the notion of what is referred to as the “Protestant Work Ethic,” which was coined by the sociologist Max Weber. In a nutshell, it means that if you work hard and get rich, then God loves you.
I think we can see the veracity in that. Think of someone in our society who is rich, be it Trump or Gates or Buffet. What’s the first thing we think about them? We usually say that they’re smart, right? We respect their opinions on things — even things not remotely related to business or money. Right? True, not the same thing as “salvation,” but the parallel is there. If someone is rich, we admire them and respect their views. After all, they’re rich and we’re not.
All of those reasons lead me to the conclusion that the notion of anyone being adversely affected in their money-making prowess because of that quote from the Bible is bunk. Plain and simple.
There are other issues that really cause people to not earn their full potential. A person’s belief in this citation from the Bible is not one of them.
Go and get rich because it’s a good thing to do.