There is a widely held misconception which says that God hates money, or, if not that, then Christians think money is a sinful thing. There are probably some instances where that idea would be a useful summary of the Christian view, for the sake of brevity, but in most cases taking “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” out of context hurts rather than helps.

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

1 Timothy 6:3-5

What is more accurate, and more useful to conversations about Christian attitudes to money, is that prioritizing money over God is not only sin that can lead one astray but a kind of wicked teaching that draws others away as well. The Christian must examine himself to see if he is seeking the Spiritual prosperity of God or the temporary, Earthly wealth that can so easily entangle us.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with 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. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

1 Timothy 6:6-10

So there is no finger wagging, no scolding of those who have monetary means here. There is no shame in being rich. But, as the scripture says, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6); do good to others in order to lead them to God.

Ethan Kirl