That Isn’t In the Bible Either

money

Most people have heard the phrase, “Money is the root of all evil”.  It is often thought to be a saying from the bible. Would it surprise you to learn that nowhere in the bible does it say this? Just about the closest to this phrase that appears in the bible is 1 Timothy 6:10

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.

This isn’t all saying the same thing at all. Timothy was basically saying that if money was all that a person loved, they would find themselves having to bear many griefs and that they would have left faith behind. Also notice that he didn’t say that money was the cause of evil, nor did he mention anything having to do with all evil. Many strong spiritual leaders in the bible were wealthy men, including King David. I firmly believe that if we had asked King David, he would have said that money was nice to have, but that he loved God, not money.

In fact, nowhere in the bible does it say that God is against the notion of people making wealth. In our world and even back then, money was necessary to buy the things we need, to live day-to-day. Money is also needed to purchase our comforts. Again, God isn’t against us being comfortable. He wants the best for his children. It is clear that he wants us to help one another when we have money, but even Jesus used money. Jesus was without sin, therefore money cannot be the root of all evil if he possessed and used it.

It is curious, in a way, that many people have the idea that they will donate when they have ‘spare’ money. They never realize that they wouldn’t have any money at all if it wasn’t for the Lord, which means that all the money they have is His, not ours. Giving at church or to help another person really isn’t a matter of giving, it is a matter of returning.

That is side tracking a little, but not much. No person will give away something they aren’t willing to do without or part with. If we allow our love of money, what Timothy was talking about, to become so important that we aren’t willing to part with it, we then invite evil into our lives. Money can become more important than God in the minds of man. We cannot serve two masters and given the choice between serving God and serving money, I choose the former. That is a choice each person must make for themselves.

It goes a step farther, too. The bible is clear about what love is. In 1 Corinthians 13:6-7, Paul says:

It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Thus, if we truly love God, we’ll never give up on Him, never lose faith in Him, will always be hopeful and we’ll endure any circumstance that comes into our lives. That is what love is.

Still, the bible didn’t say that money is the root of all evil. It did point out that the overwhelming LOVE of money brings about evils. If people don’t believe the truth of that, they only need to pick up a newspaper or turn on the news. It isn’t the money that causes the problems, nor does it cause all problems. It is the love of and desire for money that is the issue. Having, earning and using money isn’t a sin in and of itself.

The bible never said that, “Money is the root of all evil.”

It is appropriate that I’m posting this on Valentine’s Day, the supposed day of love, though the celebration is actually rooted in Paganism.


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That Isn’t a Biblical Saying

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There are a lot of phrases that are commonly used, but which people don’t realize came from the bible. This can be surprising and perhaps fascinating for the non-believer. However, there are also saying that are attributed to coming from the bible, when they in fact aren’t biblical. Since even Christians often think that they are, it is helpful to look at one of them.

Be moderate in all things

This saying is commonly thought to have come from the bible. Actually, it didn’t. This saying has its origins from the ancient Greeks. To be more precise, the idea came from Aristotle. His idea was that people should strive to find an even balance and healthy middle ground in all things, neither wavering toward an excess nor being so limited as to be deficient.

Of course, there is wisdom in the saying and most people know it. It certainly is something that could have been said in the bible, particularly by someone like Solomon or David. But it didn’t come from there.

Paul did write something similar, however, though it had a different context. When he spoke of a successful athlete, in comparison to our goal, he said,

“And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25)

However, when Paul used the word ‘temperate’, it is likely that his meaning of the Hebrew word was a bit different from what we think of as moderation. To be moderate is to be in the middle, between two extremes, swaying neither one way or the other. On the other hand, to be ‘temperate in all things’ means to be completely and entirely in control of yourself. These are obviously not the same. The root word of temperate is temper, so we are thus told to contain our temper or emotions.

All of that said, there is still wisdom in Aristotle’s idea. For most things, we really should be moderate in almost all things. Interestingly, in order to be moderate in almost all things, it certainly helps to be completely temperate.

For instance, I love huckleberry pie. It would be quite easy for me to bake and then consume an entire pie. I’d rather eat that than most dinners, because I love huckleberries. Naturally, if I ate an entire pie, I wouldn’t be very moderate, not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t be hungry for dinner. However, knowing that I shouldn’t do a thing and not doing it are two different things (and happens to be a definition of sin; knowing that you shouldn’t do something and doing it anyway). So how can I be moderate when it comes to the huckleberry pie? I can be moderate by being completely temperate, as Paul advises.

You might also notice that I said that we should be moderate in almost all things. I said that purposely because I believe that it would be difficult to pray too much or read the bible too much. Both could be done excessively, but it would be hard to be too excessive in these things because of the benefits we receive.

Anyway, nowhere in the Bible does it say to be moderate in all things. Are you one of the many who thought that this was a biblical saying?


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Good Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise

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There is an old saying that came from the southeast United States that goes, “If the good Lord’s willing and the Creek don’t rise.” The saying is something a Christian might say instead of making a promise to do something or such. For instance, if someone asks you to meet them tomorrow morning for coffee, it would not be wise to say, “I’ll be there.” It is entirely possible that God may have other plans and since His plans are more important than your own, saying that you will be there to have coffee would be to set yourself up to be a liar.

Put in another way, you would be making a promise you might not be able to keep, even if you have every intention of doing what you said you would. This goes for nearly everything having to do with future events. You have no control over the future. God, alone, has the power to say what will happen an hour, day, week or year from now.

In fact, by saying that you will do something in the future, you are actually saying that your own will and plans are stronger and more important than God’s. Naturally, this probably isn’t what you would mean to imply, but the implication would still be there.

Thus, a far safer response to the question of whether you would meet for coffee the next day would be, “I’ll be there, good Lord willing.” By saying this, you are basically saying that you will be there for coffee as long as it is God’s will. By just adding those three words, you are actually paying respect to God, recognizing Him as the ultimate decision-maker and the most important thing in your life.

So where did ‘and the Creek don’t rise’ come from? I can tell you that this isn’t a meaningless addition, nor did it have anything to do with a stream of water. It had nothing to do with a flood, either. Naturally, if you were going to meet someone for coffee and you had to pass over a stream to do it, but the stream had flooded its banks, you might be prevented from meeting the person. This isn’t where the additional words came from.

In around 1800, there was a tribe of American Indians known as the Muskogee Indians. They lived in the southeast, primarily Georgia and Alabama. In fact, the town of Muskogee, Oklahoma is named after them.

At the time, there were far more Muskogee Indians than there were settlers. Though the Muskogees weren’t mean, vicious or cruel, they didn’t take kindly to mistreatment by the settlers and when it happen, an uprising usually followed.

Now, another name for the Muskogee Indians was the Creek Indians. This is when the whole phrase came into being. For this reason, “Good Lord willing and the Creek don’t rise” actually meant “if it is the will of God and we don’t get attacked by angry Indians”.

The phrase is still in use in the US, though it has been a very long time since the Creeks have had an uprising.


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