When talking with a friend, he tells you, “I hit a deer!” Do you congratulate him, or do you say “I’m sorry to hear that.”? It depends on the context. Was he out deer hunting; or was he driving his car down the road? Knowing the context (the setting in which this happened) makes all the difference.
That’s true also when it comes to studying the Bible. It is very easy to misunderstand the Bible if we hear a passage but don’t understand the context in which it was spoken. In fact, people can make the Bible say whatever they want by taking phrases out of their original context. Let’s take one example: how often haven’t you heard someone say, “The Bible says, ‘money is a root of all kinds of evil’”?
Does the Bible really say that? Yes and no. Yes, those words are found in the Bible. But no, the Bible does not say that money is a root of all kinds of evil. What the Bible says is this, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).
The problem is not money. The problem is a sinful attitude toward money. In fact, that passage goes on to say, “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Money is a great blessing from God. Yet, as with every blessing, we want to be careful that we don’t misuse it, but rather keep a proper attitude toward it. The book of Hebrews reminds us of this when it says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).
Keeping a proper view of money, a great prayer is found in the Old Testament book of Proverbs, “Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:7-9).
May God grant us the blessing of contentment as he leads us to keep a healthy attitude regarding money!
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