Skip to main content

The root of many evils

I Timothy 6:6-10 reminds us: "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." Let that one sink in for just a moment. We probably have all heard someone misquote this passage from time to time, telling us that money is the root of all evil. It is not what it says, though. It says the 'love of money' is A ROOT of all kinds of evils - one root, not the root - and not all evil, but many kinds of evils that can enter into a person's life.

Taking this apart, Paul is really saying godly content is to be desired - to be satisfied and appreciative with the 'basics' of life - such as food and clothing. To desire more is not sinful, but to desire or crave more and more can lead us down a destructive path - one that allows the root of discontentment to take root. The desire for more can sometimes be senseless and lead us into harmful pathways. Take for example a desire to live outside of our budget - to make purchases that must be placed upon credit because we simply cannot afford them. Sometimes we need to put something on credit, such as a visit to an emergency room for much needed treatment. This is not what is meant here - but rather to buy that 75-inch TV on credit card when the 55-inch one we have is working just fine. We wanted 'better' or 'bigger' and that is something that can lead us down a destructive or harmful path. 

If we read on in this same chapter, Paul tells us to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. Why? These are the things that keep us from being caught up in the 'more and more' syndrome. We learn to seek first righteousness (things and activities that lead to right living) - then there will be great contentment with the things God brings into our lives. We pursue godliness and faith because they are a natural outcome when we are putting God first in our lives. We enjoy deeper aspects of God's love as we keep him first in our lives and this leads us into places of 'surety' of foundation - steadfastness in his ways. In turn, we begin to live in such a way that our actions are 'gentle' and 'kind'. 

Paul wasn't telling us it is wrong to desire a new car - but to focus so intently on getting it at the cost of godliness and contentment may just open the door to greater evils in our lives. Satisfaction is not the result of being full - it is the result of learning how to curb our desires. The desire for 'more' is not wrong - as long as the 'more' we desire is more of God's character in our lives. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce