These rant type of posts are fun to write, but not fun to publish.
- 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.
- It makes me seem like a grumpy young man.
- 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.