For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can
carry nothing out. And having food and clothing let us be with these
things content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and
a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which plunge men
into destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of
all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith,
and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:7-10)
The Bible tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil. (I Tim. 6:10) This is often misquoted as “Money is the root of all evil”, but according to God's word, money in and of itself is not evil. It the love of money that is evil. Anything that we put ahead of God is an idol, or false god, to us, and we know any idoltary is evil. We cannot love and serve both God and money.
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one,
and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the
other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13)
Anyone who loves money will never have enough of it. Someone once asked the multimillionaire, John D. Rockefeller, “How much money is enough?” He answered, “Just a little bit more.” If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.
Always wanting more is called greed. Someone said "Greed is like drinking salt water. The more you drink, the more thirsty you become. It never satisfies." Greed and contentment are total opposites. A greedy person will never be content and a content person will never be greedy.
Greed causes people to sin. It causes people to be discontent with what they have and to envy and lust for what others have. That's when they fall into every kind of sin.
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust,
and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin:
and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:15-16)
When our focus is always on money it leads us to feelings of anxiety and worry, rather than faith. What if we lose our job, or get a long term illness, or the stock market crashes? Faith gives us peace of mind, even in the face of these possibilities, because we believe that God will meet all our needs. Love of money does just the opposite.
As Christians, we are called to a lifestyle of giving, rather than hoarding and keeping for ourselves. It is the difference between being a slave and being free: slaves hoard what they have and always want more, while those free from the love of money give generously. Even when they do not have as much as others, they know that God will provide for their needs, and so are able to give with open hands and a whole heart.
And givers have learned this eternal truth: in sharing what we have received from God, we not only bless others, but we are blessed ourselves. In God's economy, our giving generously does not subtract from what we have, but instead multiplies our own blessings. It is impossible to bless others without also blessing ourselves.
The Bible tells us that every good and perfect gift is from God. (James 1:17) But God doesn't give us gifts just to keep them for ourselves and our own pleasures. He blesses us that we in turn may be a blessing to others. Author Randy Alcorn says it this way, “God prospers us not to raise our standard of living, but to raise our standard of giving.”
The end result of love of money is greed, envy, covetousness, plotting and scheming, sin, and death. The end result of giving generously is that others are blessed, we are blessed, and God is glorified.
So how much is enough? When we have learned, as the apostle Paul did, to be content with whatever we have, whether little or much, (Phil 4:11), and we willingly and cheerfully share whatever God has given us, it is enough. Always.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be
content with such things as you have: for He has said,
I will never leave you, nor forsake you. (Heb. 13:5)