My Biggest Bible and Money Pet Peeve

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These rant type of posts are fun to write, but not fun to publish.

Why?

  1. It makes it awkward when I’ve had a conversation with one of you in real life, and then I get online and categorize it as one of my biggest pet peeves.
  2. It makes me seem like a grumpy young man.
  3. The worst part is that my biggest Bible and money pet peeve is a direct quote from the Bible.  

That makes my pet peeve seem almost sacrilegious.  Almost.

Here it is …

It is the love of money, not money that is the root of all evil.

Since this is clearly a Biblical sentiment, I guess I should explain that it’s not the phrase I dislike, but it’s how people use the phrase.

A while back, I wrote about emergency exit rationalization.  It’s the idea that when we get uncomfortable with a Biblical teaching, we look for a passage, idea, or sentiment to pacify our uncertainty so we release ourselves of the burden of wrestling with a biblical concept.

We do whatever it takes to let ourselves off the hook.  That’s human nature.

Indeed, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil.  Indeed, your bank account does not indicate much about your love of money. (People with small bank accounts can love money too!) But, that doesn’t mean we’re all off the hook.

Jesus talked about how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

If Jesus speaks truth, which I always assume he does, we make him to be a liar when we think we’ve all found the right balance between having money and not loving money.

Listen closely, I’m not point a finger at you.  I’m talking to myself.  

I guess the reason that phrase is a pet peeve is it just doesn’t pacify my awkwardness with wealth as well as it does for others.  Perhaps I’m just jealous.

Part of me wishes that I could read what Jesus and the Bible say about money and then quote one Bible verse and confidently know that I’m doing exactly what God wants me to be doing with money.  But I don’t.  And I can’t.

The truth is that even though I believe the love of money is the root of all money (as opposed to money itself), I still struggle to know how much I really love money.

Please do continue to use the phrase, but don’t use it to escape the God-given, God-ordained, God-desired result of forcing all of us to look deeply into our hearts to ask:

  • Do I love money?
  • Am I managing my money in a way that honors God?
  • Do I read Bible verses about money and feel cut to the heart or not?  If not, is that a good thing?
  • Am I legitimately willing to read the Bible without excuses or justifications and see how God’s Word impacts my finances today?

God’s sure not done with me, and I hope you allow him to keep transforming your finances.

Comments

  1. says

    A quote I heard from @DailyKeller on Twitter the other day: “If you add anything to Jesus as a requirement for being happy, that’s your real king.”

    I think to answer the question of how much you really love money, you can just ask yourself. If God asked me to give away everything, could I do it and how hard would it be?

  2. Marie says

    Craig I agree completely! What is so difficult about knowing where to draw the line in the sand on this? If you are capable of providing with what God gave you and choose not to, to me it is immoral AND unethical. Example: Someone saying oh I can’t afford to help, say replace a tire, and yet have ten grand in the bank. To me it would make a world of difference if we would replace the question can I afford ____________ with am I capable of ________? God doesn’t expect us to be able to do it all, but it is up to us to do what he has made us capable of doing!

    • says

      Marie,
      Fortunately, I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had someone who could afford something ask for money to do it. That would be a frustrating experience.

  3. Jeff says

    First time to your blog and I appreciate your exit strategy rationalization concept. You nailed it and should continue emphasizing the phenomena. It appears to be more widespread than we realize. Thank you!

  4. Cecilia says

    This scripture seems to be used often by Christians in pointing a finger at the wealthy. The scripture is often misquoted by stating that money is the root of all evil. You nailed it. Anyone no matter what their financial ability or status can be guilty of loving their money. I’m tempted when finances are strained to justify why I cannot tithe or give generously where there is a need. I can never out give the Lord and he always provides a means for me to give.

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