Money Trouble #1 – Fear of financial success; wealth is evil and undesirable
The scriptures are loaded with examples of people whom God joyfully blessed with great prosperity for civil behavior and sound economic practices. Christ himself gave the parable of the talents (a talent is a large sum of money) which is a clear lesson on our responsibility to diligently increase our financial standing. So why oh why then, do Christians tend to hold a strong underlying fear or distaste for the idea of wealth?
Well, conversations with MANY Christians have revealed to me that misinterpretation of Timothy is a big reason for this money trouble.
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 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 6:9-10 KJV
To translate the Latin record, Martin Luther chose, “Extreme greed is the root of all evil.” William Tindale’s translation says, “Covetousness is the root of all evil.” Timothy meant to warn us of our covetous attitudes, not to make a moral stance against financial success. The possession and creation of money is not the root of all evil; coveting and greed are!
Delving into “coveting” can turn into a battle of semantics between jealousy, envy, and coveting. This battle is really an attempt to split hairs because all are feelings of ungodly contempt toward someone that has something you can not have (THEIR wealthy life), something you feel too difficult to obtain yourself (A wealth life), or someone who invokes a sense of insecurity or competition to retain something you already have (YOUR wealthy life).
Do you believe there is a correlation between wealth and spirituality, one way or the other?
Compared to “wealthy people”:
- Do “broke people” covet less?
- Steal less?
- Judge more righteously?
- Live more generously?
- Feel the spirit more often?
- Cheat less?
- Create safer places, emotionally and physically, for those they love?
NO! In His sermon on the mount, did He encourage the “poor in wallet” or the “poor in spirit?”
Avoiding riches will not increase your spirituality or shield you from temptations. Those who are poor, broke, or financially unstable are as equally vulnerable to temptation, greed, covetousness, or money serving desires as those who are “rich.” After all, isn’t it really greed and covetousness that motivates us to go into debt to obtain things and experiences we can’t pay for now? Doesn’t being broke or having debt in fact make us a slave to our money, a slave to our covetousness? Doesn’t debt or a lack of funds create conflict with our spouse, impatience with our kids, disregard for the Sabbath, neglect for the law of tithing, attraction to get-rich-quick schemes, and distraction from fulfilling our financial agreements? Aren’t these all ways we “give into temptation,” “err in the faith,” and indeed “pierce us through with many sorrows?”
So, if avoiding riches will not increase your spirituality, and if those who are poor, broke, or financially unstable are as equally vulnerable to temptation, greed, and covetousness as those who are rich, then wouldn’t it be more fun to be rich and tempted than broke and tempted?
Take $20-100 and do something good with it today. Hire out a simple task to someone wanting to make more money, give a hardworking person an extra generous tip, pay someone’s utility bill, donate to an animal shelter, a refugee ministry, or whatever cause you feel passionate about. Think about how that feels and ask yourself, “Does that feel evil?” Would you like to be able to do that more often??
If you think about it, doesn’t it make sense that The Adversary and unrighteous leaders WANT wealth to seem undesirable? If they are the only ones with the power and freedom that comes with money, then they increase their ability to push their agendas and control over you, right?? And, it decreases the amount of resources available to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and visit the lonely.
This world needs more great people who create and live in abundance! Would you like to learn how?
As a financial coach, I can help you work through your limiting beliefs around money and develop the habits and tools that empower you to master your money and live abundantly. Are you ready to see money differently? Are you motivated to eliminate your debt once and for all, break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, or create wealth to bless those you love?
Being broke is NOT spiritually superior and the creation and possession of money is not inherently evil. Money is nothing more than an inanimate object used to fund and, therefore, expose, the true desires of our heart. Christ used the parable of the talents to teach us something very important.
Stay tuned for my post about this topic.