“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the soundwords of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness,he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.But godliness with contentment is great gain,for we brought nothing into the world, andwe cannot take anything out of the world.But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
-1 Timothy 6:2-10 (ESV)
Many have corrected it to emphasize “The LOVE of money”. Here is the truth behind this. With this wording, we tend to restrict the meaning of this verse to GREED. But it does not stop there. It is the LOVE of the SELF, to obtain earthly riches. There are many life circumstances that have led to evil things, and for sins to be committed. I sincerely believe if money or any earthly riches, are the focus of an act or a goal of a plan, that is a coveting or love of money, or earthly riches.
We have to remember a few things that God has said:
1. God says His Ways are not of the world’s ways, but beyond them.
2. He provides SUFFICIENTLY for our needs. If He provides for the birds in the sky; and for the lilies in the valley, would He not provide for us, as Man?
3. In all we do, we must keep God’s Commandments in mind, as to how we conduct ourselves.
4. As Jesus Christ demonstrated through His Own Life, Teachings, Death, and Resurrection, that we must uphold God’s Laws of Divine Love, at all costs.
In society today, we see a great divide in wealth. AGREED. So let us study this for a moment.
There are people who have gained their wealth through unjust means. Mahatma Gandhi said it best in the following:
When a way of life is focused on the self, where is there an honest love for humanity? God calls us to treat others, the way we want to be treated. To love each other, unconditionally; just as Jesus Christ demonstrated on the Cross, at Calvary. Yet, we see this divide. Why? Would a one time charitable donation, help a child to be provided with the same opportunities that a privileged child will have? Would it help to put food on their table, past one meal? To buy more than one pair of clothes, for their backs? Will it help to heal a broken spirit or heart? No…no…no. For there is only a certain amount of “money” that is needed to live. Yet we have people who strive for extreme wealth, for what reason? To put food on their table? Our stomachs can only take so much food. To put clothes on their backs? We only have 2 hands, to legs, one head, one body to clothe. For a roof over our heads? We only need one to protect us from getting wet in the rain; to keep us warm in the cold; to protect us from the heat. But yet, we see that those who belong here, decide to shield themselves from the poverty in the world. To do their work from a distance, with money; and with no investment of the heart. Power is not in money. God says, His Ways are not of the world; but beyond them. Jesus Christ, as His Son, was the ultimate symbol of unconditional love, through His Salvation of Mankind, through His Selfless Act of dying on the Cross, at Calvary. Though being the Son of God, having the power in one swipe of His Hand to take away all; having every right to pass judgement…did not do so. Instead He chose to walk in our shoes, out of God’s Love and Understanding for us; and to give up His Life to help us conquer what is trying to destroy us. He took on our battle, and won it for us. MONEY is not love. Money is EARTHLY POWER. Jesus Christ did not chose to do His Work, with Earthly Power; but His Life, Death, and Resurrection, showed us Divine Power. Our love for God, should be the dictator in our lives. And God calls for us to live with the earthly circumstances He has given us, to help each other, to understand His Unconditional Love for all. God sees us all equally in His Eyes. Giving us every opportunity to open our eyes to this fact; until when He finally calls for Judgement to be passed, by the One, who earned that Right in His Eyes, for upholding His Will at all earthly costs…Jesus Christ.
Then we have the other extreme. Where there is a lot of poverty in the world. And the poverished see those who have the extreme wealth; and seeing their pleasures, and lack of struggle. They see their temporary moments of happiness, and their false sense of security. And they strive for this false sense of security; at any cost. Thinking that once they achieve it, then they will be able to be at peace. Many who have reached that, have found quite the contrary. Only God, can give us that peace of mind. Only Divinity can give you security. Though they did not “love money”; their main focus and primary goal for their actions was for obtaining money.
Through poverty, and wanting to get out of that poverty, many do things out of desperation. However, with our freewill we have the choice to choose, whether to honor God the Father of Creation, and trust in Him, in providing the way out. And there are some who do. However, there are also those who obtain it by breaking His Commandments. How many people have killed for their wealth? How many people have stolen to obtain wealth? How many people have sold their bodies for wealth? How many people have cheated another, for their wealth? How many have taken advantage of someone’s desperation, to obtain their wealth? Or how many people have taken advantage of someone else’s honesty for obtaining their personal wealth? How many remain in relationships, and commit adultery (out of their unhappiness or lack of satisfaction in their partner) for the sake of financial security and stability?
When we take on such attitudes, are these selfless acts? Is there not harm committed to another member of our fellow man? Who are we to decide who deserves such unjust actions to be done towards them or not, to obtain such wealth? Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, while He roamed this Earth, did not do that Himself. So with our sin stained, vulnerable human nature, who are we to determine this? Based on this vulnerability look at what Mankind has chosen with their freewill to exist? It is not God, that is allowing for it to happen. He is giving us the choice for it to exist, or to not exist. He has provided not only the foundation, but also showed us through the earthly example of His Son, Jesus Christ, what is to be expected. Yet we still continue to choose with our freewill otherwise. So when will it stop? God had to reset Mankind so many times. He has shown, those who chose His Ways are the ones, who can stop it permanently. That is the only way. Our sin vulnerable human nature, does not allow for us to do it by our own strength, without Him. This is what World History has consistently demonstrated. Man is not capable on its own to do that; but only with the aid of God, the Father of Creation. Otherwise would we CHOOSE to take such routes in gaining wealth? Would we choose to have goals of obtaining wealth, instead of doing what is right in this world? The Love of Money. Evil created such extremes so that our EMOTIONS, our FIRST INSTINCTS will dominate. To not think, and use our freewill, to choose the ways of God, the Father of Creation. Freewill is what differentiates us from the animals in the wild. Yet, evil is trying to make us to take on the ways of the animals in the wild. God made animals to exist in that way, not Man. To gain, based on “survival of the fittest”. Man was given freewill, to choose a way of life of love and righteousness. We are not to become secure by the expense of our fellow Man. We are not to enjoy, at the expense of another. We are to love, selflessly, just as Jesus Christ showed us at the Cross.
Actions can be forgiven in the Eyes of God. But often wealth gained by unjust means, have to often be maintained through unjust means. And leaves a heart and soul heavy laden with burden, placed by Evil. Unless one decides to unshackle themselves from this unjustly gained wealth, it will be forever shackled to evil. If we have truly understood that God’s Ways of Divinity are not of the world’s but beyond them, then we would take Jesus Christ’s Example, and continue to conduct ourselves in accordance to God’s Commandments. We will begin to understand that the things of this world are temporary. And that things that God gives, to His Faithful, are permanent. True freedom is not in “living for the moment”, in earthly circumstances. But by knowing that the God you honor with your life, has ways that are beyond that of the world. Mother Teresa says it best here: