If you are hoping to make some money (e.g. by spread betting), you may be wondering if money truly is the root of all evil. The short answer is “no.” This ought to make you feel better if you are one of the minorities of traders (15 to 20 percent, according to Capital Spreads) who makes money from spread betting. If you have not yet begun spread betting, Cantor Index should be your first port of call and you can apply for free spread betting demo to see how you fare.
Essentially, the relevant line from the Bible is misquoted. In reality, 1 Timothy 6:10 begins: “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” It is not money that is the root of all evil – it is the love of it. God is not anti-money. He is anti-money worship. God wants us to be healthy, wealthy and wise.
It is unfair to blame a medium of exchange for evil. Money is spiritually neutral. It can be employed for either good or evil purposes. God is concerned with the motives of the use of money. If the motives are pure, the fruits will be good. Money could be donated to a good cause. As Mark Twain pointed out, lack of money rather than money is more likely to be the root of evil.
Some evil clearly has nothing to do with money or indeed the love of it, so the line from 1 Timothy is somewhat sensationalistic. Evil is more likely to ensue from a desire for status. Money is the most obvious measure of a person’s status, and blaming money for evil is akin to blaming the scoreboard for the result of a cricket match. A good example is that of figure skater, Tonya Harding, who conspired to have her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, assaulted so she would be unable to compete in the Olympics. While winning at the Olympics would have brought Harding riches, she was motivated by status rather than money.
One of the very first acts of evil in the Bible was the killing of Abel by his brother, Cain, because he was jealous that Abel’s offering to God was better-received than his. That one was, again, about status. Communism aimed to make all people equal, and it did not work out so well in practice, so it appears that desire for status will always be a problem.
We can also remember the case of O.J. Simpson, who is widely believed to have killed his ex- wife and the man he believed to be her boyfriend because he was jealous that another man had more success with his wife than he did. Money did not come into it. Jealousy over women is a very
common reason for wrongdoing, but 1 Timothy made no mention of that.
Without money, barter is necessary, and that depends upon a double coincidence of wants, making it inefficient. It is not possible to exist without money. We need it to put a roof over our heads and for food and clothing. It allows us to function. It is quite certainly not evil.
Brick By Brick Investing Commentary:
I grew up in a house where talking about money was an absolutely “no-no” in fact other than balancing a check book and saving money I wasn’t taught any financial principles at home. The phrase “money is the root of all evil” was thrown around at least once a month. I believe this is the one of the biggest culprits for our generations financial illiteracy. If nobody is willing to talk about money because they believe it is evil then nobody can educate themselves on sound financial principles.