As I continue to study the strongholds of appearance, affluence, and achievement, I talk to many folks who just want more money. I’ve actually only met a few people in my whole life who’ve said to me, “I have plenty of money.” Most people agonize over money; it’s all they think about. It’s a source of stress and heartache.
Money is a strange thing. I read in 1 Timothy 6 this morning that the love of money is the root of all evil. That’s a terrible thing to consider! The root of all evil? How could this be? Perhaps it’s because it symbolizes independence from God’s provision. I learn in verse 9 that those who “want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” Later, Paul writes that some people, “eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
My goodness! I don’t want this at all. Temptations! Traps! Foolish and harmful desires! Ruin and destruction! Even worse, wandering from the faith and piercings with grief!
How do I avoid it? How do I protect my heart from the love of money?
Paul’s final charge to Timothy is twofold: Flee and Pursue. Flee the desire for more money and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. But how? What do I need to believe about God and money in order to do this?
The answer comes in verses 17-19. Put no hope in wealth. Put all hope in God “who richly provides all things for our enjoyment.” Instead of obsessing over becoming rich in dollar bills (which isn’t to say it’s wrong to be rich; it’s all about our focus), we’re to be “rich in good deeds and generous.” In this way, we “lay up treasure for [ourselves] as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that [we] may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
I need to affirm that God richly provides. I don’t need to fall in love with money. I shift my gaze and enjoy what God provides today. Can you imagine the freedom of this becoming true for us today?