We all know that money is the root of all evil, right? That's how the saying goes, isn't it?
"Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." – 1 Timothy 6: 9-10
Money itself is neither good nor bad. It is simply a tool or a resource, like a brick, for example. A brick can be thrown through someone's window or it can be used in the construction of a building. The way we view money is where things go awry, and I have seen and believed a range of viewpoints when it comes to money.
On one hand, so many of us believe money is the answer to life's problems. If I only had a little more money...(fill in the blank). We fall into the trap that money equals our security, our worth as individuals, our hope for the future. Obviously, a lot in this world depends on money, and some form of it is a necessity to survive. But how much do we place on the ability and value of money? Is money more than just money to you? Is it a scorecard? Is it your identity?
On the other hand, some of us believe money itself to be intrinsically evil. We believe that living a life of poverty is a way to show that we have strong convictions. We avoid dealing with money. We believe that earning a good deal of money is wrong, and only evil people are twisted enough to seek wealth, always through exploitation of the less wealthy. Some of us choose to simply settle in a place of little money because we believe the saying, "More money, more problems," to be true. Our righteousness is shown through our lack of desire to earn more money.
As an artist and a musician, it can be easy to subscribe to the belief that our calling to make great art takes precedence over building a healthy financial profile. Author of The Savvy Musician, David Cutler writes on the subject, "Financial catastrophe won't get you an award for devotion. It can destroy your life, however, at least until you solve the crisis and get your economic situation under control."
So my challenge for you and for me, whether you are wealthy or not (though if you're reading this on your own computer or phone or tablet, you're wealthier than most of the world), is to have a healthy attitude towards money. To see it for what it is––a tool. And to recognize how lusting after money, or ignoring it altogether, creates all sorts of problems. Money can be used so beautifully to create opportunities, to give towards worthy investments, and to help others in need.
As a bonus, I would like to share a piece of music I put together a few years ago on this topic. Titled, "The Love of Money," this was created entirely from "found sounds," things like a disk drive spinning, coins being dropped into a jar, and the crunching of footsteps on wet snow.