In 1 Timothy 6:9-17, the apostle Paul warns against the dangers of money. Money is the number one source of problems among married couples, and it is the number one desire of a great number of people today. Let us now notice the admonition of Paul against the dangers of money, and let us heed his admonition to avoid this perilous wile of the devil (cf. Eph. 6:11, 17).
The first danger is a lack of money. Notice verse nine: “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” In this context, the word “will” means a desire, or intent. In other words, those who are not rich, but constantly long and desire to be are leading themselves into a great temptation and snare. There is an old saying that says, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” When it comes to money, I think we all are enamored with its power and prestige at first. Then, all around us, we see the end result of the desire to be rich. But, too often, after being fooled once by money, we allow ourselves to be fooled again. To this, we should all say to ourselves, “Shame on me.” Truly, the lack of money can be a great spiritual danger.
The second danger is the love of money. Verse ten states, “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.” First of all, it is important to understand that Paul does not say that money is the root of all evil, but that the love of money is the root of all evil (some translations render it “all kinds of evil”). There is nothing inherently wrong with money, but when we love it and desire it so much that we begin to seek first the kingdom of gold instead of the kingdom of God, then our spiritual troubles will begin. May God help us all to see money for what it is: something that we must have while here on earth, but merely another part of this world that will melt and be burned up at the second coming of Christ (see 2 Pet. 3:10). The love of money is definitely dangerous!
The third danger is to be loaded with money. Move down to verse seventeen of 1 Timothy 6, and notice Paul’s third admonition concerning the dangers of money: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” To see the danger of being loaded with money, one needs only to go door-knocking in a wealthy neighborhood. I have been on several door-knocking campaigns and, without fail, there is significantly less response from the more wealthy people of the town. Money tends to fool one to thinking that he is self-supportive, that he “pulled himself up by his own bootstraps.” But, we should always remember that, as one of my instructors used to say frequently, “If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he didn’t get there by himself.” No matter how much one has, he did not get it “all by himself.” If God withheld His blessings from us for even one second, we would have nothing. This is something to consider for both the rich and the poor, but especially for those who are “rich in this world.”
Money is a dangerous thing. It is one of the few things that is not only dangerous because of one’s having it, but it can be dangerous because of one’s not having it. The lack of money, the love of money, and being loaded with money are all very grave dangers. As with all things, we need to heed the advice of the Scriptures, “Let your moderation be known unto all men” (Phil. 4:5). By this, I mean we should work to obtain money to support our family and supply our needs, but we should be ever watchful against letting money come first in our lives. We all have to work to live, but some live to work. It is true that one cannot survive today without money, but one cannot survive spiritually if he has a great love for money. Whether you have a lack of money, love of money, or are loaded with money, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33), and you cannot go wrong, for in so doing, “all these things [daily needs, CCD] shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).
[Article written by Chad Dollahite, taken from Bremen Church of Christ (Bremen, GA) bulletin]