Money is neither good nor bad. The amount of money is neither good nor bad. Its value depends on what we do with it. That involves attitude and action.
Money can create a selfish, greedy attitude. We assume that the money belongs to us. We assume that ever how much we have, we ought to get more. Have you ever met anybody who said they had enough?
The Bible says, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10 NIV). The love of money creates in us a mindset that is totally self-centered rather than centered on God and others. That attitude begins to shape our value system and core responsibilities.
A couple of studies shed light here. In 2011, the people who gave the largest percentage of their income to charity were the poorest 20 percent of Americans. They gave 3.2 percent of their income to charity. The wealthiest 20 percent gave just 1.3 percent. One of the researchers suggested that the poor may have given more because they have “higher empathy” since they are more exposed to need.
Another study in 2014 showed having more sometimes tends to affect our moral behavior. People with annual incomes ranging between $16,000 and $150,000 served as volunteers in a study. It was found that the wealthiest were more likely to cheat to win a $50 prize, take candy from children, and even pocket extra change if it was given to them by mistake. It was concluded that people who drive high priced cars were four times more likely than those who drive cheaper models to cut off other drivers and pedestrians.
The study author, Paul Piff, says that one of the dangers of becoming rich makes us more likely to lie, cheat and steal. He concludes that money sometimes insulates us from the outside world and makes us “less likely to perceive the impact.”
While the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, the love of God’s mission is the root of all kinds of good. God’s mission, simply stated, is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mat. 22:37-39). Paul writes “…use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need” (Eph. 4:28). The purpose of money is for fulfilling God’s mission, not for creating my own empire. (Tweet this)
Tony Campolo describes the modern man’s effort to get more as “Affluenza.” It is the cancer of the soul of modern people. It’s far more deadly than any strain of influenza. The cure for affluenza is giving. Rather than getting more, we give more. Money fulfills its purpose when it is used to fulfill God’s purpose.
Money is neutral. It is neither good nor bad. It can be deceptive. It can be an obstacle or an opportunity. What we do with it determines the value we receive from it. It can create in us a sense of greed and selfishness, or it can create in us a generous spirit that does something for God’s mission.
John Wesley was right when he said, “Make all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.” That is a healthy attitude towards money – and produces positive actions!