The Root of all Evil



For the love of money is the root of all evils
and some people in their desire for (money)

have strayed from the faith
and have pierced themselves with many pains. (1 Tim. 6:10)


Paul is exhorting Timothy to teach his constituents what he had just talked about in his moral instructions. Anyone who does not agree with those words do not agree with the Lord, is proud and a fool and will give rise to confusion and disorder even among people of his own kind (vv. 3-5). Religion is a source of gain if by it people learn to be content with what they have, since they were born naked anyway and when they leave this life, they won’t bring any wealth with them (vv. 6-8). In contrast those who love wealth and money will certainly go into ruin and destruction (vv. 9-10). And so Paul admonishes Timothy not to worry about these things but should exert his effort in what is needed (vv. 11-12).


The vow of religious poverty should be a shield against the traps that Paul illustrate. In this sense, we religious have it easier than the laity who have to walk the tight rope as it were as they go through their daily lives. And yet I am aware that a sense of false security can also lead a religious to a greed for wealth. When a religious ceases to put his trust in the Lord alone, then he will put his trust in something else. Before realizing it, he has become entrapped in idolatry — whether it be to sex, money or power. Even for a religious, money gives a sense of freedom and independence: the more money one has, the more freedom, and less dependence on somebody else. With more money, he has more power over his life. And it is just tragic that one who begins with such an excellent resolve as the choice for religious poverty, should end up “into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction.” (1 Tim. 6:9b)


Lord, you are my portion and cup, the inheritance marked out for me. Let not the anxieties of life lead me away from the path you have designated for me nor the sight of the wicked draw me away from walking behind you.


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