Not Becoming Consumed With The Love Of Money

By Jim Langley

At one time in my life, I was greatly motivated by how much money I could accumulate. Pursuing wealth became a way of life. This is hardly a new or unique development, however. It has been true of people for thousands of years. Writing to his protégé Timothy, the Apostle Paul offered these words of wisdom: “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 6:10).

Money is not inherently evil, but the love of money can cause evil in many forms. There is nothing wrong with having money or desiring to earn it to meet our physical needs, build a business, or acquire things we want. However, when it becomes both our goal and our god, we have a huge problem.

Years ago, there was a popular car bumper sticker that proclaimed, “HE WHO DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS WINS. That clever saying found agreement from people enamored with having more and more, whatever the cost. But they probably never seriously considered how great that cost might be.

King Solomon of Israel, an extremely successful individual, addressed this subject in a profound way. From experience he observed, “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). He shared from his personal experience as one who came to an awareness that the love of money is the equivalent of chasing the wind. It is an exercise in futility.

The Love of Money: a root of many kinds of evil. If we are in love with money, we cannot be in love with God, our Heavenly Father. And we do not need to possess lots of money to love it! We can be penniless and still have a deep affection for money and what it can buy for us. We can easily fall into the evil trap of rationalizing that money will bring us happiness and contentment. I have personally observed how money can create major distractions and steer us away from what really matters in life.

Focused on the Wrong Things: I have seen many successful people obsessed by their careers to the point of neglecting family, friends, and their faith. Even professing followers of Jesus Christ can become fanatically focused with making money, losing sight of what is most important in life. We can become mesmerized by money’s magnetic power and how we believe it can positively affect our lives. Sometimes God will allow us to experience hardships, including illness, loss of jobs, divorce, or many other calamities. to convince us money in fact is not the answer to our deepest needs and desires.

The Right Storehouse: Jesus laid it on the line when He warned His followers, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

There is an important question we each must answer: Where is your heart? Is it found in money and the things it can buy here on earth, or is it in your relationship with your Heavenly Father? The Bible instructs us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:5) and store our treasures in Heaven. If we do that, we will have no regrets.

© 2024, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his relationship with God. His goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. A long-time member of CBMC, he started writing “Fourth Quarter Strategies” in 2014.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How important is money to you? Take a moment to consider before you answer. Now explain why you answered as you did.
  2. What are some of the potential problems with an unrelenting pursuit of money and material things? Why do you think the “love of money” is so prevalent, especially in the business and professional world?
  3. In what ways does the pursuit of money bring about evil in our lives? Why do you think what we possess – in terms of material wealth – can have such influence in how we think about ourselves and how others perceive us?
  4. If you – or someone you know well and care about – is clearly consumed with the love and pursuit of money or the things it can buy, what steps can be taken to overcome this problem? What does it mean to store up our treasures in Heaven, rather than on earth?

NOTE: For more about what the Bible says, consider the following passages:

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11; Matthew 6:24; 2 Timothy 3:1-4; James 4:13-17

Challenge for This Week

During the coming week, try to do a personal assessment of the importance money and material things have in your life. Do you view yourself as the owner of everything you possess, or as a steward of resources God has entrusted to you? Consider how those two perspectives are different.

Find someone you know who cares about you and talk about your respective attitudes toward money – and whether you believe the Lord might want you to make some “attitude adjustments.”