"Your life is an occasion. Rise to it!" - Mr. Magorium

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

For Love of Money

"Money is the root of all evil." This is probably the most famous mis-quote of the Bible in common use today.

The correct quote is, "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (I Tim. 6:10)

Over and over we hear that the root of our economic problems is greed. Ironically, if you watch some of the old movies from the 1930s (made during the great depression) you'll hear the same assertions.

In one of my favorite movies, "Give 'em Hell, Harry" (made in 1975), U.S. President Harry Truman is portrayed as having said while serving in the United States Congress, that the cause of our problems was that Americans worship mammon. "The millionaire," he said, "is better in the eyes of the people than the public servant who works for the public good."

Sadly, we can't legislate greed away. And when economic pundits insist on misinterpreting 18th century Scottish economist Adam Smith and claiming "greed is good" (as in the movie "Wall Street") instead of considering the wider view of 20th century American Nobel Prize winner John Nash Jr. (as portrayed in the movie "A Beautiful Mind) we simply repeat our mistakes and suffer the resultant economic downturns.

This leads me to the conclusion that the old saying, "the more things change, the more they stay the same" is absolutely true. Some people question the relevance of the Bible to our lives today. But even though we have cars, computers, HD TVs, and microwave ovens, we still are prone to the same mistakes people have been making since the beginning of recorded history.

As Mary Baker Eddy says on page 327 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "The way to escape the misery of sin is to cease sinning. There is no other way." There's a statement that needs to be considered not only in terms of the individual, but in terms of society as a whole.

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