Updated: Aug 16
"Money is the root of all evil."
This commonly repeated verse from the Bible is really a misquote. It actually reads:
"The love of money is the root of all evil." 1 Timothy 6:10a
It's such a common misquote that Google returns 10,000,000 fewer results for the actual verse compared to the incorrect version.
But those three extra words significantly change the meaning.
When looking at the full verse, no longer is money the cause of evil or evil itself. But instead, having an incorrect view of money is the culprit. And I think that is accurate.
We've seen a move to demonize money and wealth many times throughout human history. Typically, that doesn't work out well.
But we've also seen the love of money play out many times throughout our history as well. That has ended just as bad or worse.
So how do we keep the correct perspective?
For myself as a Christian, I believe it's important to view money as a tool that is not my own. I'm called by God, who ultimately blessed me with the money, to be a good steward of his blessings and use it to help others.
And for those who are not Christians, I think a similar approach is still helpful. When we view the money we have as a way to improve society, create opportunities, and enjoy life, instead of money being the ultimate goal, we develop a healthier view of money.
I think quoting the entire verse from 1 Timothy 6:10 can provide even more context for Christians and non-Christians alike:
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (KJV)
Loving money creates "sorrows." I think we all intuitively realize that's true.