GOOD AND EVIL
This is my final blog post of 2015. I wanted to use it to share some things I've been thinking about regarding good and evil, and how we apply those terms to so many things.
I guess I'll just start with a list.
Knives: We use them every day in the kitchen. We cut- we chop- and every now and then we use them to replace the screwdriver we're unable to find. However, a knife can also be used to harm someone if used in anger.
Fire: We use fire to warm us and to cook things with. Fire can also ignite a house or building if used carelessly.
Drinking: Doctors of every stripe all agree that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol is actually good for one's health. But not used in moderation, drinking can destroy the liver, stomach, and kidneys.
Money: Money can be used to pay our bills and to care for those around us that are in need. Money can also be hoarded at the expense of the greater good.
I could go on and on listing more things, but this is a blog entry, not a novel. My point is this: all of these things listed above can be labelled as "good" or "evil" depending on how they are used and for what purpose.
You have probably heard it said many times, whether in the media, in a conversation, or (God help us) from the pulpit at church:
"Money is the root of all evil."
But did you know that this is not in the bible anywhere? It is a complete rewriting of scripture. It is a distortion of what the word of God really says.
This misquoted passage from the Apostle Paul, writing to a young pastor named Timothy says this:
Two very important words are included here which do not appear in the popular mis-quotation of the passage. Those words are, "love" and "a."
LOVING money is a root of all kinds of evil.
So firstly, money is not the root of all evil.
Second, loving money is just A root, not THE root.
Meaning, the love of money does cause some of the evil in our world, but not all of the evil in our world.
So back to my list at the beginning. What makes something good or evil? The answer is simple. We must ask the question, "For what purpose are we using the thing?"
Money is just a tool. Your motive behind wanting money and what you do with your money determines whether or not the outcome it produces is good or evil.
It's why Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes,
As each year draws to a close, we are always presented with more than a few opportunities to give to a charity, an institution, a campaign, or a cause of some kind. And this is where we feel that "pinch," that "ache," that "Oh, but I could just hold onto this for myself" in our hearts.
We see the needs, and then we see our wants, and that is when the conflict begins raging inside of us.
I would like to encourage you to remember that you do not belong to your money. It belongs to you. You are not your money's tool. Money is your tool.
How will you employ this tool as 2015 draws to a close?
YEAR END GIVING
If you're reading this, and you call Forefront Church your "place," I'd like you to ponder what you've just read, and search your heart for what God might be leading you to give to our year-end-offering.
Your gift insures that we end 2015 in fiscal health and sets us up for another year of loving our city in new and surprising ways.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. See you in the new year!