A saying you hear bounced all over the world is, “Money is the root of all evil.” Money has both benefited our society and created selfish motives that divide politics, families and other types of community.

The phrase is based on a Bible verse, 1 Timothy 6:10, which states, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” There is a discrepancy between the Biblical verse and commonly heard quote that distorts the Bible verse’s intention. 

The original meaning of the Bible verse is that greed causes people to take unfavorable actions. In loving money, a person is being ungodly; they lack contentment and peace with their own lives because they constantly chase more money and material goods. That, according to the verse, is the wrong way to live your life. The quote, as it’s commonly tossed around, is typically interpreted to mean that actual, physical money is the root of all evil.

While living in San Francisco for about a year, I had countless encounters with people who preached about how the root of evil is money and materialism. Sometimes they sounded crazy throwing their wild theories around, mostly because the encounter typically concluded with an attempt to share different sorts of drugs with me. Regardless, I would listen to their opinions in an attempt to keep an open mind and form my own opinion on the matter, but I couldn’t take the man on LSD or the woman passing out shrooms too seriously.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say money is the root of all evil, but it definitely feeds into the evil in this world. Many evil acts are driven by the desire for money. Some say money serves people, but in the end, money only serves itself. People see money as something you have to work, or in some cases, slave over. People assume money gives us freedom, but it really doesn’t. People identify others by way of their financial status. Rather than defining a person by their character or their values, people define them by their class standing, which is simply allowing money to define someone. This is something extremely prevalent in our society.

On the other hand, money can be used toward good causes. Money has created an entire system that has provided the resources to create infrastructure and a whole society. We can give money to different charities that help others. In the bigger picture, money is just a part of a trading system everyone has to participate in.

I guess it just depends on what kind of person you are and your own experiences to determine what money means to you. Money can be used for good and bad, and it can easily manipulate you and others without your knowledge. It’s up to you to make the call on whether you will let it dictate your decisions in life or if you will put other priorities before it.

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