Summary: The desire for money will deceive and ultimately destroy you. Paul outlines a three step process: (1) The desire for money; (2) The deception of money; (3) The destruction caused by money.
THE LOVE OF MONEY
Study Text: 1 Timothy 6: 6 - 10
- There is a tremendous difference between money and the love of money. And what Paul speaks of here to Timothy is not a Christian possessing money, but money possessing a Christian, or money possessing anyone, for that matter.
- He is speaking of the love of money giving rise to something evil, the love of money causing something evil, the love of money being that from which something evil springs.
- So, when you love money something evil happens, something evil springs from that root, something evil grows and is nurtured by that love you have for money.
- Now, by "all evil" we must not understand that all instances of evil can trace their origin to the love of money. Because we know that there was no money in the Garden of Eden, and yet Eve sinned, and so did Adam. So, Paul does not here refer to every instance of evil having as its source as the love of money.
- What he is saying here is that "all kinds of evil" is produced by the love of money. The love of money is the root of every imaginable kind of evil.
- The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. No one can imagine what sorts of evil springs from the heart of someone who loves money.
- You do know that men have killed for the love of money, that women have sold themselves into prostitution for the love of money, mothers and fathers sell their own children for the love of money.
- We shall discuss the topic under three sub-headings:
1. The Desire for Money
2. The Deception of Money
3. The Destruction by Money
1. The Desire for Money
- The love of money is not the only root of evil, but it is a powerful one. This is because loving money leads to all kinds of evil.
- The love of money is a decision or desire to pursue wealth for personal consumption and luxury. The love of money can be either a deliberate decision (“want to,” v. 9) or a desire (lust, v. 9) that hasn’t been carefully thought through.
- In either case, the person has a goal in life to make a lot of money so that he can enjoy life in style.
- The goal may stem from a lack of contentment, which in turn may be due to not having the purpose of godliness or the perspective of eternity.
- It may stem from “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life” (1 John 2:16), which tempt us all. But the love of money is an aim, a goal, a focus.
- Love of money can be a goal that sometimes is a deliberate choice, and sometimes just a strong inner longing to be rich.
- It stands in opposition to the contented Christian whose aim is godliness because his focus is on eternity, not on this fleeting world.
- Often this desire for wealth stems from pride. The person is seeking the affirmation and status that wealth brings. He needs to prove to himself and others that he really is somebody, and one way to do that is to make a lot of money, live in luxury, and impress people.
- In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24).
- Here, Jesus likens a “love of money” to idolatry. He refers to money as a “master” we serve at the expense of serving God. We are commanded by God to have “no other gods” before the only true and living God (Exodus 20:3; the first commandment).
- Anything that takes first place in our lives other than our Creator God is an idol and makes us guilty of breaking the first commandment.
- Jesus had much to say about wealth. His most memorable conversation about money is His encounter with the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16–30). The young man asks Jesus what he must do to obtain eternal life, and Jesus tells him to follow the commandments.
- When the man tells Jesus that he has done all that, Jesus tests his ability to obey the first commandment and tells him to sell all his possessions and give it to the poor and to follow Him. The young man couldn’t do this; his wealth had become an idol—it was his master!
- After this encounter, Jesus turns to His disciples and says, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:23–24).