The Love of Money: Thoughts On My Fraudulent Charges

You’ve probably heard that “money is the root of all evil.” Did you know that’s not accurate? The real quote is “the love of money is the root of all evil.”

There are so many things that you think will never happen to you, such as the death of a family member, being injured in an accident, or being a victim of identity theft. Unfortunately, these things will always exist whether you think they will happen to you or not. It seems that with our advancing technology, it becomes easier and easier for thieves to not only steal your personal information, but also your hard-earned money.

An “Everyday” Crime

I’ve heard several commercials for companies who work to protect your personal information say that identity theft is no longer an “if” but a “when.” What a shame. It’s also disheartening that we need companies like these to exist, and that when a problem does occur, they are so used to handling these situations that it’s easy for them to resolve.

Simultaneously, there are companies that are carving out “good” reputations for themselves. My mind instantly goes to Chick-fil-A. Do you think of cranky employees? No, if anything, you hear “my pleasure” running through your mind. Not “you’re welcome,” always “my pleasure.” Their employees manners are so refreshing and appreciated that I have heard employees at other franchises try to imitate them. You might not have noticed, but Chick-fil-A also plays spiritually themed music in the background of their restaurants.

I promise I have a point šŸ™ƒ

Opposing Ideals: Identity Theft and Chick-fil-A

Not long ago, I received a call from our bank asking if we had purchased Chick-fil-A in Houston. We live in central Florida, so that was an obvious “no.” When it was deemed a fraudulent charge, we were referred to the bank’s security department. All I had to do was to confirm that the charge was not mine before they quickly worked to resolve the issue. They cancelled my debit card and issued a new one all within a matter of minutes.

Now I know that many, many others have had an enormous headache dealing with identity theft and have lost mega big bucks in the process. My fraudulent charge was under $20, so I’m definitely not trying to play the victim here. BUT, what struck me was the speed and ease with which my problem was handled and how truly sad it was that this was such an “everyday problem” for the bank to handle.

[Funny enough (in a tragic sort of way), as I was writing this post, I found even more fraudulent charges in that account, as well as THREE more from a totally different bank and account. I joke that no one messes with me because I’m “6ft of terror” haha, but evidently it’s my turn to be the target.]

It’s the Love of Money, Not Money Itself

Throughout his ministry, the Apostle Paul wrote several letters to various churches, as well as individuals, encouraging their faith and instructing them in ways they could improve. Two of these letters were written to a young preacher named Timothy. Timothy was very close to Paul’s heart. So much so, that he even called him his “true son in the faith” (1 Tim 1:2).

Paul wrote about several things to Timothy, including the topic of contentment. In 1 Timothy 6:10, Paul says that

“the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”

I’ve heard this verse misquoted more than once to say that “money is the root of evil,” even though that’s not what the text says.

Where Are Your Roots?

Money is an object. It is not inherently “good” or “evil.” It’s a tool. It can be used to do good things…great things! Sadly, it can also be used to do harmful, destructive things.

Where are your roots
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Think about it, so many crimes have their roots in the love of money or possessions – burglary, theft, robbery, identity theft, possibly even murder and assault. Money can also be used in benevolence, construction, and to enrich our lives. I would even say that simple things such as providing for our families and enjoying time together would be considered “good” things.

But godliness with contentment is great gain,  for we brought nothing into the world, and  we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

1 Timothy 6:6-8

It’s not wrong to be wealthy…if worked for and earned fairly. God gives us the strength to work, to earn a living, to use our resources. Paul continues and warns Timothy in the danger of desiring to be rich.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

1 Timothy 6:9

That’s really where the danger is, isn’t it? If you’re desiring to be rich, you won’t be satisfied with what you have. Becoming rich will consume you. You will want to be rich more than anything. You may even be willing to go to extreme and criminal measures to get it. And cue verse 10…”the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Whoever stole my credit card number (twice šŸ˜‘) loves money. They love it more than earning it themselves, enough to steal, and more than the people they hurt.

In his letter to the church in Thessalonica, Paul gives a strong warning to those who are idle:

If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

1 Thessalonians 3:10

How Much Do You Love Money?

These people used my account to buy Chick-fil-A, a car wash, gas, and make several runs to Target. They wanted all of these things, but were not willing to work for them. They decided to steal what they had not earned to get what they wanted.

No Bees, No Honey; No Work, No Money

Proverb

Work isn’t always fun, but it is necessary. There’s no such thing as a free ride…or a free lunch.

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