The vehicle is not evil…
by Michael S. Tyrrell
April 27, 2021
Over the years, I’ve met, and heard of, people becoming financially successful and then later shunning all the entrapments of their wealth in order to opt for a simpler, more meaningful life.
And while that’s a noble act, it’s also an ideal that is often misunderstood, especially among people of faith. How often have you heard someone say, “Money is the root of all evil?”
Let’s take a look at where that saying comes from, how it’s misquoted, and what it really means.
“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 arrows.”
~ 1 Timothy 6:10
Do you see it? This verse does not state that money is the root of all evil, but that the love of money, the coveting of it, is at the root. And when you covet, become greedy, you basically shoot yourself in the foot…causing yourself a lot of grief.
This verse was written by the Apostle Paul to his beloved student, Timothy. While we don’t know all the details of Paul’s life before his conversion, we do know that he was educated, and a pharisee–a title which enjoyed a great measure of respect and high social status in his day. We also know that after his conversion, Paul gave up his status, and perhaps wealth, to follow his calling. He didn’t want it to be a distraction from what really mattered to him. In Philippians 3:8 he states, “Moreover, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…”
Why did Jesus say, “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God?” It’s not because wealth is evil. Money is neither good nor bad; it’s just a means. It’s because often, when people begin to acquire a taste of what they can accomplish with that means, they begin to make it their god. The means to accomplish God’s will becomes the goal. No bueno. The gift is not greater than the giver.
Instead of driving a vehicle to the destination, they park it and begin to admire it, then to obsess over it. They wash it, wax it, add the best tires and the best stereo speakers. Eventually they’ll begin to think about trading it in for something newer, faster, more luxurious, etc. This car they were blessed to have and use for a purpose, is no longer what gets them TO their destination. It has BECOME the destination.
Money is simply a tool, a vehicle—not the goal!
If you lose sight of that and begin to covet after it, to make it your destination rather than the vehicle that helps you reach your destination…then you’ve wandered off course.
But when you keep your eye on the prize and simply use the tools you’ve been equipped and blessed with to get there and help others with, all is well.
Talk to you soon, friends. Until then,
Michael S. Tyrrell
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