PERSPECTIVES

 

   Is MONEY evil?   

You turn on the TV, smart phone, tablet, laptop (or any number of other contrivances we have to glean information) and we see individuals hurt, imprisoned, or killed because of the procuring of money.  Even some men and women of God have gone astray in their hunger for money.   Maybe you have even made the ill-advised statement, “I would do anything to bring in just a little bit more money.” 

 

Therefore, that leads us to the question: Is money evil?  Well, can something be evil that can bring so much goodness?  The more you make the better your life-style can be: You can eat healthier and stress less about medical treatments or medications, live in a neighborhood with less noticeable crime, take longer and more extravagant vacations, wear better-crafted garments and accessories, drive safer and roomier cars, and enjoy a more joyful and secure retirement.  However, those remarks return us to the first points about the extents that some individuals are willing to go to for money.

 

My take?  Money is not evil.  The handling of money is talked about extensively in the Bible: Mark 12:13-17 (NIV) tells of the Pharisees and Herodians trying to trick Jesus into saying that paying taxes to Caesar is wrong.  However, Jesus replied, “Why are you trying to trap me?...Bring me a denarius and let me look at it…Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”  “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then Jesus replied, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”    First Lesson: Pay your taxes and your tithes.

 

Likewise, Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV) tells the parable of the master who gave gold to his servants. One servant buried the money.  The master said angrily, 26 "‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.  28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them."  Second Lesson: Save (to get interest) and invest your money.

 

And Deuteronomy 24:14-15 (NIV) even instructs employers, “Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.  Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.”   Third Lesson: Pay your employees on time and in full.

 

So, I do not believe that money is evil.  Money is a necessity that the Bible encourages us to use sagaciously.  However, I believe, the lust for money is where the evil lies.  James 5:1-5 (NIV) cautions, “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you.  Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.  Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.  You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.”   Fourth Lesson: You will feel the consequences for the people you have hurt with and because of your love of money.

 

                                         Finally, 1 Timothy 6:2-10 (MSG) says it directly, "If you have leaders there who teach

                                         otherwise, who refuse the solid words of our Master Jesus and this godly instruction, tag                                            them for what they are: ignorant windbags who infect the air with germs of envy,                                                          controversy, bad-mouthing, suspicious rumors. Eventually there’s an epidemic of                                                        backstabbing, and truth is but a distant memory. They think religion is a way to make a                                                fast buck.  A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself                                                  before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have                                              bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.  But if it’s only money these                                                  leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing                                          but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live                                              to regret it bitterly ever after."  The KJV is the most notable for verse 10,"For the love of money

is the root of all evil:…" Fifth Lesson: Use your money; do not let it use you. 

BONUS LESSON: Recognize false prophets and be aware.

 

It may seem like the Bible is contradicting itself, but it’s not!  Nothing is wrong with wanting better, but when wanting better turns into an obsession for money, a dangerous line has been crossed with serious consequences.  It never ends well; wrong never trumps right.

 

This is one perspective.  What’s yours?                                                                                                           BBB-P

9/15/2015

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