Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 21, 2015

Money, Guns, Tire Tools and Christianity

Money is the Root of All Evil, Right?

No, not right, money is nothing more than a tool, a medium of exchange which facilitates commerce and trade. The Bible does not condemn money as evil; the better translation of 1 Timothy 6:10 would be:

“10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Our Lord spoke on the subject of money versus God in Matthew 6:24 where it is written:

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

The point is that money is an inanimate, amoral tool which exists as a convenience in the exchange of value. The form used today is light, portable and easy to use. In the past various things have been declared to have value as money; one of the stranger forms of money was the large round stones used as money on Yap, an island in the Western Pacific.

Rai Stone 3A Rai stone, used as currency on the island of Yap, stands in the atrium of the Bank of Canada “Rai stone from Yap currency” by Beades – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

These were massive stones requiring a number of men to carry them and were in no way a convenient, portable medium of exchange. They could, I suppose, be used as a weapon and then one might say that money kills. The point being that whether a piece of paper or a rock, money has no inherent tendency toward either good or evil but is simply a tool to be used by a human being as a medium of exchange. This principle applies to all other tools as well!

The Same Old Problem

What then is the source of this wicked misbehavior of tools about which one hears so much? Well, no surprise there, it too comes from the fallen sin nature of man; whether money, guns, or any other tool, all can be used for good or evil depending on the motivations of the individual human using the tool. A tire iron can be used to change a tire or bash someone over the head, tire irons do not kill, people kill; the same principle applies to all other tools as well. Tools are not good or evil, they are just tools!

We do ourselves and society a great disservice when we endorse the idea that societies’ problems are the result of tools gone wild. If we tighten up on the behavior of tools all would be well: let us pass more laws controlling tools and societies’ problems will disappear. I hope you realize just how foolish that sounds; what amazes me is that this is the popular solution in many parts of our society today. Legislating the ownership or use of tools fails to address the problem at its roots; the problem is the fallen nature of man, not the fallen nature of tools.

Two Philosophies of Behavior

When my wife and I had little children we believed the notion that children should be taught to behave. There were clearly defined boundaries for their behavior and going beyond those boundaries resulted in certain discipline of some sort. We also knew that children were not born with this knowledge and had to be taught.

We had learned that it was not the severity of discipline that counted but the certainty of discipline that provided the deterrence; a violation of the boundary resulted in certain discipline, it was non-negotiable. The children learned very early that it was better to observe the limits set for their behavior so within a few years little discipline was ever required; they had learned the value of self-discipline.

During this time a new notion was becoming popular, a notion which we rejected for our family; a notion that avoided setting limits on children’s behavior coupled with efforts to remove all temptations that might result in inappropriate behavior. Families were trying to childproof the environment of the child so there was nothing the child could actually do to step over the boundaries of acceptable behavior; I referred to it as childproofing the house.

I was amazed at these efforts and thought of all the problems that a lack of self-control could generate when these children grew up and tried to integrate into society. What I had not anticipated were the efforts that society would eventually try to childproof itself and remove all things with which the out-of-control child/adult could damage or use to possibly harm themselves or others.

I had not anticipated society seeing these undisciplined adults as victims of an unfeeling society that had failed to adequately remove all of the dangerous objects from their environment. The beautiful vase was there so they broke it, the sharp object was there so it was used to injure themselves or others, and regardless they were innocent victims of a thoughtless society that had failed to properly prepare the environment for their arrival.

What Does the Bible Say about This?

In Proverbs 22:15 it is written:

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

Proverbs 13:24

24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

Hebrews 12:7-11

“7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

These verses reflect our attitude toward child-raising and discipline; I can testify that they have worked as our children have harvested righteousness and peace, praise God for His mercy and grace. During the early years when I would occasionally have to discipline a misbehaving child the first part of the process would involve an explanation from me on why the discipline was required; we wanted them to clearly understand the reason discipline was to be administered. Later one of our boys told me that my lecture was the hardest part for them and was much more painful than the mild discipline which followed. Fortunately it got their attention and quickly became no longer necessary as they learned the value of self-discipline.

The Perfect Society

There is a perfect society coming but it is not in the immediate future; the Bible tells us we are in for troubled times which will get progressively worse until the Lord Jesus Christ returns to set things straight. I’m sure all of us who love the Lord look forward to those times!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


Responses

  1. Outstanding thoughts and analogy explaining why society has been sliding so far, so fast. Great Job, Sir…….as usual!!

    Like

    • Phil,
      Thank you for your comment, I appreciate your taking the time to offer some encouragement. Our society today is a very good example of what happens when God’s rules for life are ignored.
      David

      Like

  2. Ye shall reap what ye sow. Here we are. Thank you again, David, for an insightful essay.

    Like

    • Donna,
      Thank you for the comment! Intellectually I know God is in control and working all things after the council of His own will; emotionally I am still pained to watch the destruction of the country I love.
      David

      Like

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    Like


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