When I was growing up, I heard that money was evil. As well intentioned as my elders were, they left out one important component of that saying. The saying doesn’t state money is evil, it says the love of money is evil. Even when I captured the true saying, I still didn’t comprehend the meaning. I would ask myself, if the love of money was so evil, why do people go to work every day to get it? Don’t they go because they love money? Why do some spend excessive amounts of time performing a trade in exchange for money? Aren’t they demonstrating the love of money? Why do so many people want more of it? Doesn’t that prove they love it?
While looking for answers, I encountered those with different paradigms. One camp says get all the money you can, and can the rest; they show no shame about their love of money. Another camp says poverty is a virtue. Then there are those who say they don’t love money, but they will do anything (legal or illegal) to get it.
I’ve watched the poor despise the wealth of the rich, but at the same time, wish they possessed some of the same things their counterparts possessed. I’ve seen people fight over it. I’ve seen homes broken up because of it. Yet, I’ve seen it help people change their lives for the better.
In viewing these things, I still didn’t grasp the meaning of the love of money until I ran across this saying: you can’t serve two masters. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Money isn’t evil, but allowing it to get in the driver’s seat is. If you allow money to become your master, then it becomes the driving force in your life. You’ll make decisions based on it. You’ll compromise your values for it. You’ll lie and steal because of it. You’ll long for it, and it will become the focus of your attention. And the interesting thing about money, it can become the master of the rich or the poor. You don’t have to have a lot of it to allow it to rule. It rules when you subject yourself to it.
That being said, I invite you to take stock of your life and examine the evidence. Will you violate your values for money? Will you go after money at the expense of other important things in your life? Do you think about money more than you think about anything else? Do you despise those with money yet secretly wish you had what they have? Is money the number one motivator in your life?
Remember, you have control of whether you allow money to be your master, but once you become its slave, you don’t have control over the destination.