Is Money Evil?

October 31, 2013 — 11 Comments

Most people have a warped view of money.

They automatically assume that money is evil and rich people are too.

moneyphoto credit: _Davo_ via photopin cc

That simply isn’t true.

I often hear these questions in church circles:

How should Christians view and handle wealth?

Is it a sin to be rich?

Does God expect me to give away everything I have to help the poor and needy?

Can Christians drive nice cars and live in big houses without guilt?

It’s neither a sin to have money nor to have nice things. But money can quickly become an idol.

Here are 3 vitally important things that you need to understand about money.

  1. Money is amoral.

    It is neither good nor bad.

    Money simply amplifies the heart of the person who possesses it.

    If you’re a no-good, rotten dirty scoundrel without money, you’ll be a no-good, rotten dirty scoundrel with it.

  2. Money is a tool.

    If your sole purpose for attaining wealth is self-serving, money will eventually consume and destroy you.

    But when you chase after wealth in order to serve others, money becomes an extremely powerful tool.

    Consider this:

    God often blesses Christians with great wealth for one purpose–to fund the Great Commission.

    Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!

    Matthew 25:23

    Giving is a spiritual gift. When you use money to glorify God, you’ll always be entrusted with more of it.

  3. Money is spiritual.

    From a human perspective, you’ll always view money through greed-colored glasses.

    But when you experience true salvation and turn everything over to Christ (including your wallet), He cleans up the mess–and breaks the back of greed.

    That’s why generosity is so important in the life of a Christian.

    When you practice cheerful giving, God is supernaturally injected into an area of your life that Satan can no longer use against you.

We are called to honor God with everything we have–our time, our actions, and our finances.

But when you give generously and obediently according to God’s Word, you can enjoy the rest guilt-free.

Money isn’t evil. It’s not a sin to be rich. Having nice things doesn’t make you any less of a Christian.

You just have to put God first and be willing to respond when He calls on you.

QUESTION: Has God ever used you financially to be the miracle in someone else’s life?

  • Dad

    THIS IS A GREAT POST! It lays a solid, biblically sound, and balanced foundation upon which you can teach intentional generosity. Keep up the good work!

    • Larry Poole

      Dad, I always love when you stop. I appreciate your wisdom and encouragement. I love you.

  • Dan Black

    Great thoughts, Larry. I love your point about money being a tool. Growing up the church I attended thought money was evil and being broke was for Godly people but luckily I’ve broken free from that myth. God gives money so we can bless others and advance His Kingdom.

    • Larry Poole

      Dan, I honestly think that God specifically blesses certain people for the sole purpose of funding the vision of the church.

      Money is never evil as long as we recognize the source.

  • Caleb

    I appreciate this post Larry. It seems to me that many Christians come down on one side or the other here. Either they see money as the main blessing that God gives them and they are striving for money and have made and idol out of it or they see money only as a curse and thin true spirituality must be found in poverty.

    I think it’s important to have a balanced view. Like you said money is a tool, a tool, a tool that must be used for God’s glory. In mission work money plays an important role. On one hand we can’t even get to the mission field without it and on the other hand it can be a big problem that separates the missionary from the nationals.

    We serve in a country where on average the income is much lower than in the US. That makes it tricky because we want to bless people, churches and other ministries with finances but we don’t want to be seen or used as a cash cow. That is to say we don’t want to make money a temptation as an idol to those we serve.

    • Larry Poole

      When I first became a Christian, I saw money as the main blessing from God. I was wrong.

      I still see money as a blessing, but also recognize that God is the owner of it all. I want to do everything in my power to be obedient and respond when the Holy Spirit prompts me.

      I’d love to hear how “giving” is taught in the Ukraine. I’ve often wondered about how giving in the American church differs from other countries around the world.

  • TCAvey

    Great topic and well covered!

    God gives us money/possessions for our enjoyment and so we can bless others with it, but often times we allow those possessions/money to OWN us and we get greedy. It’s liberating to know that everything comes from God and He’s generous. When we give to someone else, He will give back to us.

    What has really helped me understand God’s generosity, love and so on is having a son of my own. If he were to give his favorite toy away, I’d replace it and be beyond thrilled that he was so kind and generous.

    • Larry Poole

      @TCAvey:disqus, I’ve found that many people get offended when they hear Christians say, “when you give, God will return it back to you.”

      This should never be the reason that we give, but it absolutely 100% is a by-product of our giving. We serve a God who can’t be out given.

      I love you parent/child analogy. Each time my daughter is generous to others, I look for unique and greater ways to bless her.

      • TCAvey

        Having children really does give such insight into the heart and love of God (at least it does for me- I’m so thankful God allowed me to be a parent).

  • Jon D Harrison

    Larry – nice handling of an important topic – the Bible has a lot to say about money, and the point that there is a spiritual tie is especially important. My wife and I are striving to be debt free so that we can bless others to an even greater degree!

    • Larry Poole

      Hey Jon, great to see you!

      I can’t wait to scream, “We’re debt free.” I get so excited when I think about how much more we’ll be able to love on people (financially) when we no longer have the burden of debt. Your statement couldn’t be more true.

      I hope things are going well for you.