On the fear of debt collectors….

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.

I’m convinced this is one of the most misquoted pieces of Scripture out there. More often than not, it’s simply stated that “MONEY is the root of all evil.” False. That’s never been true. Money can’t inherently be evil. If it were, there are lot of necessities that we’d probably end up stealing.

The LOVE of money, however…that kind of evil makes sense. At least, it does to me.

I wonder, though, if it goes further than just loving money.

I’ve never considered myself a lover of money. I mean, I like having it and I like spending it, but I wouldn’t say I’m in love with it. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m terrified of it. I’ve spent the better half of my life living in fear of money. I hate debt. I hate being in debt. I hate worrying about how my bills are going to get paid.

My entire life, it feels like I’ve been a slave to money. Okay, not my entire life. But basically since I got my first car when I was 17. I’ve always owed someone money for something. Cars. Houses. Education. Credit cards (damn those necessary and evil things). And it’s the owing of money that has me terrified of money. I always wonder if I’ll have enough to retire on or if I’ll be able to support (or help support) a family or if I’ll get to travel the way I want to.

I’m a master budgeter. I have finances planned out for the next two to three years. In some ways, it makes me feel more comfortable. In other ways, I think if I deviate – even slightly – from that budget, everything will fall to pieces. I give myself very little wiggle room when it comes to money. I put a plan in place and I try desperately to stick to it. And when I inevitably don’t, I punish myself for it.

So is being afraid of money essentially the same thing as loving money?
I’d wager to say “yes” (ah haha…money pun). It really is.
What I think Timothy really meant is that being a slave to money, either through love or fear, isn’t healthy and distracts us from things that are so much more important. Things like taking the time (and money) to enjoy our families and our lives. Or giving back to the church (if you’re the Jesus-lovin’, church-goin’ type). Or simply not living in fear of the tiniest amount of debt.
I’m not suggesting anyone should be flighty or reckless with cash. I’m just suggesting that maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the way I view money, debt, and finances in general. And, because I am the Jesus-lovin’, church-goin’ type, maybe I re-think this fear of money and learn to trust a little more.
Things have a way of working themselves out. Fear not.

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