Dave Ramsey will often say, “Money is amoral.” It is just a tool. It is neither evil or good. Can money be used for evil or good? Absolutely. However, the $20 bill in my wallet is not evil itself, it’s just sitting there waiting to be plucked out for groceries or the babysitter.
Oftentimes the Bible is misquoted by folks that say, “Money is the root of all evil.” Negative. The Bible says, “For the LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” (1 Timothy 6:10).
If you love money more than God or people when you make $30,000, you’ll have the same issue (and idol) if you make $130,000. Or 1.3 million.
If your desire to make more income comes from a heartfelt desire to better provide for your family, but also to be able to give more away, who is to judge your motives? Let’s give an example: My husband and I, since taking Financial Peace University, have believed that 10% to charity was a minimum amount that we felt comfortable giving. We don’t believe in the Old Testament tithe, per se, but 10% is a minimum we believe to be a jumping off point. God has provided us everything anyhow, it is only our money to steward.
We could argue then whether that’s 10% of net or gross income, and we’ve moved from the first to the latter. But for accounting ease, let’s use gross. Let’s say that first year we started budgeting, Brian and I made a combined $43,000 (I didn’t pull tax returns or anything, but that seems about right). So that year, let’s say we were able to give $4300 to charity (which may be just a bit high). The second year I got a different job and was working more hours, as well as had a few part-time gigs, and that year we collectively made $58,000. So that year our giving would have been closer to $5800.
Now, who would say that I should have not pursued a better job? How did us as a couple, making $15,000 more per year, hurt anyone? Would anyone say we were being greedy?
Now let’s talk about those evil people in the 1%. 🙂 Let’s say that they have been thoroughly blessed and they make $250,000 per year. This enables their 10% to be $25k! Wow! $25,000 going to fund missions and orphanages and pregnancy centers. A single mom walks into their life and they can easily write her a check for $1000 and feel no pain, whereas my husband and I at $43,000 would have felt the ache of giving $1000 to someone.
I just finished an excellent book by Crystal Paine, the founder of MoneySavingMom.com. I admire Crystal not only because she is a brilliant blogger and business owner, but because she is a transparent woman who shares her victories (and even a few failures)! Crystal’s new book, Money Making Mom, is a must-read for every mother, working or at home, that would like to make a few extra dollars – either to help Junior play in the football league, to start a non-profit, or just to take some of the pressure off of her breadwinner husband.
The wisdom Crystal shares is business advice that I can endorse because 1. She doesn’t believe in going into debt to start a business and 2. She knows the reality of “balancing” a family and a business. She actually shares how at one point she was working TOO hard and staying up too late-or all night- and letting her health and sanity get out of whack.
After Crystal offers page after page of start-up business advice, she states the following, “We should focus on making money to impact our family and loved ones for the better, In addition, our focus for making money should be to help those who are struggling in our community and around the world.” YES! We don’t go out there and work hard just so that Skippy can have an XBox and we can live in the nicest house on the street, we make more to SERVE others through our finances, but also through our time that we get back.
It’s not immoral to put money aside for retirement or buy yourself a few nice things. It is wrong though to be so tied to your business or your lifestyle or even your DEBT, that you can’t live for others and give back to your community. When we love possessions more than people, we are loving money (or what it can give us), instead of pursuing excellence to better our families and their future families. Crystal sums this nicely with, “If you want to live an amazingly fulfilling life, you must live for something bigger than yourself, something besides material desires, words of praise from others, or a long list of accolades.” We can fight against the culture by how we live. We need to stop viewing money as evil and see how WE can be the ones to truly use it for good.
Money Making Mom can be purchased at Amazon
**As a part of the Money Making Mom launch team, I was given a free copy of the book. I was not compensated for my views, though, and all opinions are my own.