‘Money makes the world go around’ – a familiar saying. This is perhaps not literally true, but it certainly has a big impact on our lives and on the world in which we live. It affects fellow human-beings and it affects the whole of creation.
‘Money is the root of all evil’ – so goes another the familiar saying, but it’s not true. In fact, the quotation is not even correct. 1 Timothy 6:10 actually says ‘The love of money is the root of all evil’ and that is something quite different. We shouldn’t avoid money or the discussion of money – money is not inherently bad. Money can be used for good, but it’s when our lives revolve around it, when it turns into greed that it becomes a problem and ungodly. Somewhere along the line God and money have become separated, one clean the other dirty. One for Sundays and one for the working week. But what effect has this divide had? Who has it benefited? What kind of systems has this separation created?
It has created a system where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the gap between them is ever-widening. It has created a system where millionaires receive an annual tax cut and child benefits are taken away. It has created a system where in order to qualify for working tax credit, low-paid couples will have to find another 8 hours of work (in an increasingly competitive market) or face having the credit taken away, and being better off on benefits.
So instead of disengaging with money and claiming it to be a ‘dirty’ subject, we should try to understand it. Try to consider whether our use of it is truly Christian. What does it mean to love God and love our neighbour in the context of money?