Wealth, in its various forms, is a blessing from God. Money, gold, and treasures, all are gifts from God, meant to be used as tools for fulfilling His purpose on Earth. However, it is crucial to recognize that money, despite its potential for good, has a dark side that can lead individuals astray from the path of life and make them unprofitable to God.
What is the Dark Side of Money?
The concept of a “dark side” refers to the negative aspects of an individual, a group, an activity, or anything else that can result in unpleasant, evil, or harmful consequences. In the context of money, the dark side is represented by the actions and behaviors that the love of money can induce in people and which result into harmful consequences. It depicts what money makes people do that are unpleasant.
Here are two key descriptions that sum up the dark side of money
- The Love of Money: The Bible, in 1 Timothy 6:10, states: “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” On the dark side of money, excessive love for it is evident, and the Bible calls it the root of all evil. Excessive attachment to wealth can wield dangerous power over an individual and make them do unimaginable things. When you prioritize the pursuit of wealth above all else, it can lead you to unethical and harmful actions.
The “love of money” refers to an unhealthy and obsessive attachment to material wealth. It is not wealth itself but the love for it that leads to evil deeds. Money, in its seductive attraction, can transform itself into a false god, exerting control over you and compel you to commit nefarious deeds.
- Mammon worship: Jesus, in Matthew 6:24, warns, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” On the dark side of money is mammon worship. “Mammon” is often interpreted as a personification of wealth or material possessions. Your devotion cannot be divided between God and worldly pursuits. You have to choose one and the if you choose to worship money, it will rule your life in a way that will be unpleasant. There is an inherent conflict between the pursuit of material wealth and the pursuit of a divine purpose. That is the reason why those who worship money cannot please God because their attention is concentrated on how to acquire it.
Nature of those who live on Dark dark side of money;
When anyone falls prey to the allure of money, they may find themselves engaged in a variety of negative behaviors that will make them unprofitable to God. They include:
- Hoarders of Wealth: Some people accumulate wealth obsessively, hoarding it rather than using it to bless others. Hoarding wealth can lead to selfishness and a lack of compassion for those in need, which goes against the word of God because God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
- Thieves and fraudsters: The pursuit of money can lead you to engage in theft and fraud, causing harm to others. Unethical actions to acquire wealth are contrary to God’s commandments, such as “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
- Murder for Gain: Tragically, there are instances where people resort to murder in their quest for wealth. Murder is a grave sin and a clear violation of the word of God. The Bible says, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
- Pride and arrogance: The acquisition of wealth can sometimes lead to pride and arrogance, distancing you from humility and gratitude. Pride is a deadly sin, according to the scriptures. The Bible says, God resisted the proud (James 4:6)
- Lack of Contentment: Despite their riches, some people are never content, always craving more, and never finding true satisfaction. Those who love money are never content, no matter the amount of wealth they have. Contentment is a virtue, and the Bible encourages believers to find contentment in their circumstances (Philippians 4:11–12).
- Oppression of Others: Wealth can be misused to oppress and exploit those who are less fortunate. Those who worship Mammon always want others to be subjected to them. This is what happened in the story of Lazarus and the rich man (see Luke 16:19–31). Oppression and exploitation are the characteristics of those living on the dark side of money.
- Emotional Turmoil: Losing or lacking wealth can lead to sadness, misery, and a sense of unfulfillment, even among the wealthiest. But this feeling is more common among those who have an excessive love for money. Material possessions are temporary, and the Bible teaches that true fulfillment comes from a relationship with God rather than material wealth (Matthew 6:19–21).
How to be liberated from the Dark Side of Money
So, how can we liberate ourselves from the clutches of the dark side of money? The answer lies in redirecting our love and devotion towards God and His kingdom. Here are some steps to consider:
- Prioritize God: Make God the center of your life and commit yourself to His service. Putting God first means aligning your values and actions with His teachings. Always seek His guidance in your financial decisions. The Bible says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mat 6:33 KJV)
- Generosity: To escape the dark side of money, you should practice generosity by sharing your wealth with those in need. As 1 Timothy 6:18 advises, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” Generosity is a core Christian value. Giving to others reflects God’s love and compassion embedded in your heart.
- Humility: Cultivate humility and gratitude, recognizing that all blessings, including wealth, come from God. Humility is a celebrated virtue in the Bible, and acknowledging that all good things come from God fosters a grateful and a humble heart. The Bible says, “God gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6)
- Contentment: Escaping the dark side of money requires that you learn to find contentment in what you have rather than constantly craving more. Contentment is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and can lead to inner peace and satisfaction.
- Ethical Wealth Accumulation: If you seek to acquire wealth, do so ethically and with a sense of responsibility towards others. Ethical behavior in financial matters aligns with biblical principles of honesty and integrity. The Bible says, “Wealth gained dishonestly dwindles away, but whoever works diligently increases his prosperity.” (Pro 13:11 ISV).
- Community and Fellowship: Surround yourself with a community of like-minded individuals who prioritize God and His kingdom over material gain. Fellowship with other believers provides support, accountability, and encouragement in living a God-centered life. The Bible says, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Pro 13:20 KJV)
In conclusion, while wealth itself is not inherently evil, the love of money and the unchecked pursuit of riches can lead you down a dark path, far removed from God’s purpose. By adhering to the teachings of God’s word, redirecting our priorities, and serving God, we can find liberation from the dark side of money and use our wealth as a tool for good in alignment with His divine purpose. In doing so, we fulfill our calling as stewards of God’s blessings while avoiding the pitfalls that the love of money can bring.