A lot of people may think that because I write about money that I have a love for money. Well, that’s not entirely correct. I love writing about personal finance and helping people learn how to manage their money well. But that doesn’t mean money is the object of my affections. Nor should money be the thing any of us love! In fact, there are several bible verses about the love of money that give us solemn warnings.
God doesn’t like it whenever anything takes his place in our hearts. The Bible has a word for this: idolatry. It’s especially easy to make money an idol because having a lot of it comes with some pretty cool perks. However, we must be cautious and guard ourselves against the love of money. Here are 11 powerful Bible verses about the love of money.
Bible Verses About The Love of Money
1. “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 6:10
This is one of the most famous, and also most misquoted, Bible verses about the love of money. Many often quote this as “money is the root of all evil.” The problem with this is that money itself is amoral. It doesn’t do anything on its own. However, money sometimes falls into the hands of people who will do anything to have it. When this happens, “all kinds of evils” can and do occur.
2. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” – Hebrews 13:5
I love this verse because it pairs contentment and knowing that Jesus will never leave nor forsake you. The love of money will keep you from the true contentment found in Christ alone.
3. “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” – 2 Timothy 3:2-5
Okay, this passage describes all kinds of sinfulness. But notice that the love of money appears early. It’s not to say that poor people can’t be prideful, ungrateful, brutal, etc. But people who love themselves or love money more than God tend to exhibit other ungodly characteristics.
4. “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” – Matthew 6:24
Which one is your master: God or money? Which one has the most control over your life? No matter who you are, you are a slave to something. Your master can be Christ, or your master can be the things of this world. And believe me, money is not a good master. Indeed, anything that is an inanimate object makes for a poor master.
5. “And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'” – Luke 12:15
The Bible warns several times against coveting. When we covet something, it usually implies a deep desire for something that becomes an object of worship in our hearts. It’s so easy for money and possessions to replace God in our hearts. This verse implores us to be on our guard.
6. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” – Mark 8:36
We can gain all the money and riches of the world, and afterwards lose our souls. This is a heavy warning to those who seek to become wealthy only for the sake of gain. Building wealth in and of itself is not sinful, but placing all your hope and trust solely on riches will gain you nothing in the end.
7. “and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” – 1 Timothy 6:5
On the surface, this doesn’t seem like one of the Bible verses about the love of money. Indeed, in its full context, the passage is about those who denounce sound doctrine and are quarrelsome. But look at the last part of this verse: “imaging that godliness is a means of gain.” Gain here can refer to the gaining of status, but it could also refer to the gaining of money and possessions. Truthfully, there are many today who use false doctrine, lies, and deceit as a means of gain. This is contrary to the gospel and to true Christianity.
8. “Not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” – 1 Timothy 3:3
Ah yes, another one that requires context explanation! Here, the Apostle Paul refers to the qualifications of overseer. Today, we would call theses pastors or elders. Church leaders are not to be lovers of money. Instead, they sacrificially care for the needs of others. This doesn’t mean they can’t have money, but it does mean that money doesn’t take the place of God in their hearts.
9. “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” – Ecclesiastes 5:10
If you’ve never read through the book of Ecclesiastes, I highly encourage you to check it out. The author’s sarcasm and bluntness make this a really fun book of the Bible. However, the author uses his style to communicate a lot of deep truth. Here he states bluntly that money and wealth do not provide true satisfaction.
10. “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” – Proverbs 13:11
Again, on the surface, this doesn’t seem like the other Bible verses about the love of money. But look a little deeper at the heart behind it. There are some people in this world who gain rapid wealth, either by luck or a short period of hard work. Afterward, they squander all of it on themselves and wind up with nothing. The love of money and possessions leaves them spiritually and physically destitute.
11. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21
Finally, this is a passage that tells us where our true treasure lies. And it’s not here on earth. On the contrary, our true treasure is in heaven. And this is a treasure that no one can steal from us! It’s imperishable, ever-present, and completely free.
Where is Your Treasure?
I want to be clear about something. I’m certainly not saying that it’s wrong to budget, build wealth, get out of debt, and so forth. On the contrary, doing those things is a sign of good stewardship. But the question is what drives you to do those things? What is your vision behind building wealth? And ultimately, what do you treasure?
Wealth, money, and possessions make for poor gods. Instead, they are tools to advance God’s kingdom, which should in turn drive us to increase our generosity. Therefore, take these Bible verses about the love of money to heart. Control your money and don’t let it control you!
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