Monday, October 14, 2013

Root of all evil?

A reader writes Billy Graham to ask if it's wrong to think about money so much. Let's strap in for
Billy's good old brand of Christian hypocrisy.
Money should be servant, not master

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I know the Bible says we’re not supposed to be thinking about money all the time, but I’ve been fairly successful in my business, and I admit it’s all I think about. But why is that so wrong? Doesn’t God expect me to take care of my family? — D.S.
DEAR D.S.: Yes, of course God wants you to provide for your family; He gave them to you, and you have a God-given responsibility to do all you can to provide for their needs. The Bible urges everyone “to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for urgent needs” (Titus 3:14).

But God also doesn’t want us to constantly worry about money or make it the most important thing in life. When that happens, money becomes our master instead of our servant — and before we know it, other things get crowded out. In our frantic search for financial security, we end up ignoring the needs of others and sacrificing time with our families and friends.

Most of all, we lose sight of God and our need to trust him. We think everything depends on us, and we lose sight of our dependence on him. What others think of us becomes more important than what God thinks of us, and we forget that everything we are and everything we have comes from him. No wonder the Bible warns that “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).

Has this happened to you? Stop and evaluate your life — and then open your heart and mind to Christ, and make him the foundation of your life and your family. Then be grateful to God for all he’s given you, and ask him to help you use your money wisely, and for his glory.

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 DS, it's not wrong to think about or even worry about money. However, I don't think it's healthy for
that to be the only thing one thinks about. It can be fine to worry about money, as it's natural to want to provide for one's family as best they can. But again, money shouldn't be the chief and only concern.

But that's not for the reasons that Graham offers. He opines that money is the root of all evil. But I have a very different take. Rather, I think that money being number one in your life is negative because it signals a misplacement of one's priorities. You love your family and want to take care of them. That's understandable. But your love for them should never be replaced by your love of money. That's the chief concern. And don't focus more on God, than anything else like Billy says. If you do that, you're just putting your family second again.

And loving your family more than money isn't important because of some odd idea that money is evil. It's simple priorities. In my opinion, it is better to be loved, but have less money, that to be rich and alone.

But let's move on to the hypocrisy... Money is declared to be the root of all evil, yet when I was a Catholic, the church expected you to give a minimum of 10% of your income to them. If money is so evil, they shouldn't be asking for it. What about televangelists that openly tell you to send them money so that God can bless you? Then look at the Vatican. More often than not, the pope has worn a golden hat, and sat on a golden throne (Granted, Francis has seemed a somewhat more humble anomaly). Not to mention the gold emblazoned chapels and other structures. Money is so bad, but give it all to us! ...then again, the Catholic church is pretty damn evil. Hmm...

Then there is Billy Graham himself. He has a net worth Twenty-five million dollars! If money and the love of it is the root of all evil, that Billy is one evil sucker! So Mr. Graham, what say you?

I'm so humble... By the way, did I show you my solid gold book?
But in all seriousness, money isn't and needn't be some automatic source of evil. Case in point, Bill Gates. Mr. Microsoft is one of the world's richest people at a worth of $72.7 billion! On top of that, he is also an atheist. So, he must be the devil on Earth, right? Nope. In fact, Gates is none other than the world's most generous philanthropist. Doesn't sound like gobs and gobs of money made Gates evil, so why the assumption that it (and much less) will make DS evil and lose sight of what's important.

It's not how much money that you have that matters, but what you do with it, and where it ranks in your life. Be not afraid of it. Rather, be happy for what you have, and cherish the things that really matter.

-Brain Hulk

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