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.
1 Timothy 6:10
To say that the love of money is the root OF ALL EVIL would be wrong, for it is not. As most people know, the much better translation should be that money is the root of all kinds of evil . Without question, MUCH of the evil in the world today is indeed rooted in the love of money that runs rampant in almost every society and culture in the world, but it is not the root of ALL evil.
Evil must stem from something. It must be rooted in something for it to grow. Ultimately, that which evil must be rooted in to spring forth, grow and become the monster that makes it the ultimate weapon of the devil is LUST for anything contrary to or other than God. Please look at 1 John 2:15-17:
15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Love of this world and the things of this world is the fodder from which all kinds of evil grows. When the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life choke out the simple truth of God and His Word in a person's life, there remains nothing from which truth can grow. What remains is fertile ground that evil quickly takes root in and soon takes over a person's life. How can a good person end up doing and being evil? By allowing the things of this world to become more important and more to be desired than God, a person ends up erring from the faith and pierced through with many sorrows.
Just as the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden with the lie that it was fine to disobey God and eat of the tree God had forbidden to be eaten of, so the devil today tempts people with the lie that it is just fine and dandy to love this world, lust for the things of this world and spend all one's life accumulating the stuff of this world. In both cases, when the lie is heard, believed and acted upon; the results are devastating and fatal to one's relationship with God.
The love of money is the Greek word philarguria which simply means a lover of money . This word comes from the word philarguros which means to be a friend of or loving silver or money. It means loving money but also to be avaricious or covetous.
Jesus said in Luke 16:13:
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Jesus said it is impossible to serve both God and mammon (the god of materialism). The Word of God goes on to say in verse 14:
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
The word covetous is philarguros . Jesus was telling the Pharisees, the leaders of God's people at the time, that they could not serve both the true God and the god of materialism they loved and were sold out to. As in so many other places in God's Word, Jesus was laying down the gauntlet by demanding people fully commit themselves to one God or the other. Either love and serve the one true God or love and serve the god of this world, the god of materialism.
The god of materialism promotes and therefore demands a person be found guilty of avarice which is a VERY STRONG wish for money and possessions. Avarice is a strong desire to have a lot of money and possessions AND to keep them for yourself! A synonym of avarice is rapacious which takes this whole idea a step further. Rapacious means the taking of everything you can take, never being satisfied until you have taken everything that can be taken.
The god of materialism demands the love of money as a prerequisite to serving him. The god of materialism fans the flame of covetousness until it becomes the all consuming passion inside of a person. The person who is found guilty of the love of money has indeed become a slave to the god of materialism and his promises of having it all and therefore being better than everyone else.
Those who covet after this love of money are in for a horrible surprise both in this life and for eternity. That anyone falls for the false promises of the god of materialism is incredible, but that any Christian falls for such promises is both unbelievable and repulsive. God said to have NO OTHER gods before Him and as His people, we must make sure we don't!
I like it that you mentioned the god of materialism because there are people who will deny that they love "money" and yet they really do love the accumulation of "stuff" which of course often requires money.
I think by calling it what it is, materialism, we get a clearer picture of what exactly is going on.