“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some have coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Tim. 6: 10).
Roman fathers, centuries ago, told their sons, “Get money honestly if you can, but in any case get money.” The great sin of America is greed—avarice. We are so bent on making money that we do not have time for God and spiritual values. Our nation has a desire for ease, luxury and the making of money.
In the long ago Jeremiah said, “From the least of them even unto the greatest of them everyone is given to covetousness.” (Jer. 6:13). Often the first thing a child asks of his parents when they come home is, “Daddy, what did you get me?” The prodigal son sang the song of “Give me” until he reached a sad state. When he finally changed his verse to “Forgive me,” he was making progress.
Covetousness and greed are idolatry. The love of money can so fill your heart that God is crowded out completely. “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). The love of money corrodes the heart, spoiling happiness and even sets neighbors and friends in conflict with each other. Men driven by avarice have robbed, assaulted, attacked, embezzled, slandered and murdered.
This awful sin is dominating our society. It has found its way into the church and caused some to sell their souls for a mess of pottage. There is still a King Ahab in every community coveting his neighbor’s vineyard, and he will murder if necessary to achieve his avarice end. We are taught by the world to “look out for number one.”
No one will deny that we live in a materialistic society that cannot see beyond the dollar sign. More of our citizens are worshiping the Almighty Dollar than the Almighty Father. We love money and what it will buy. Love for money and love for God seldom abide in the same heart. The stronger of the two will drive the other out. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matt. 6:24). Many of us will lose our souls over money matters. Yes, money is still the root of all kinds of evil. One who covets money will fall away from the faith and bring upon himself many sorrows.
This very day some officeholder is embezzling the people’s money. Some rich man is counting his dishonest gain and planning to cheat his client tomorrow. Some poor man is lying to obtain money. Some young man is committing a theft to get another dollar. Some woman is selling her body for more money. Some well-respected wife is. poisoning her husband to collect on his life insurance. Some preacher is selling his soul and that of his hearers for a meager salary check. Elders are basing the entire work of the church on the amount of contribution they expect to receive. Come to think about it, almost everything we do is in some way connected with the Almighty Dollar.
A gold wedge caused Achan to sin and endanger the great nation of Israel. Judas was persuaded to betray the Son of God for thirty pieces of silver. The sale of a piece of land caused the first mar upon the purity of the church of Christ. The loss of gain on the part of some caused the Apostle Paul to be jailed at Philippi. The need for money caused Paul to delay preaching the gospel to make tents. No, my friend, the Judases of the world are not all dead. Balaam is still leading God’s people astray for the sake of gain.
May God help us to “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (4 Cor. 4:18). Money in and of itself is neither good nor bad, but our attitude toward it makes all the difference in the world. Turn from this awful sin of avarice; place your confidence in God. “In God Do We Trust.” Love money less and God more. Let us live in view of vast eternity.