In a Facebook discussion exchange yesterday, I was asked, “Do you think it is wrong for someone to say ‘I love money’?”
Of course, I’m not the authority on what is right or wrong for someone else and always do my best not to judge others (after all, I have enough personal faults of my own – who am I to judge anyone else?).
On the other hand, I’m rarely shy about voicing my personal thoughts and opinions when I have them. And, strangely enough…I often do have them. 🙂
I believe that for one to “love money” both makes no sense, and is actually counter-productive to their goal of having money.
First, because, money itself is nothing more than a “means of exchange.” It’s simply a “concept” and concepts cannot be loved. One can love what money can allow them to do (i.e., provide for their family, travel and learn, purchase fun things, give generously to charities, etc.).
But to love the money itself is a – in my opinion – mistake in focus.
And, it’s counter-productive because to focus on a concept rather than on an end goal makes it more difficult to accomplish that goal.
In my opinion, money should be used…not loved.
As the saying goes, “Use Money and love people…rather than the other way around.” 🙂
Meanwhile, I’d love to know your thoughts about this topic.
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Interesting post – I had a similar conversation with a friend the other day.
We both concluded that it’s OK to ‘love money’ if that love comes with the awareness that money in itself is just a piece of paper, which in of itself is completley worthless.
Money is energy and can be used to add to life – ours and others. If we realise that with more money we can create more life for all, then I guess it can be safe to ‘love money’ for what it is – a means to an end.
Your question brought to mind the scripture in 1Ti 6:10 (“For the love of money is the root of all evil”), and I decided to do a little word study (using http://www.blueletterbible.org).
The Greek word used for “Love of money” is philargyria, meaning “love of money” or “avarice”. Avarice (Webster’s) means “excessive or insatiable desire for wealth or gain”, with an inference that the desire for wealth supersedes the desire for other things… including helping others. As a verb, that Greek word is used to describe religious leaders who are covetous (Luk 16:14) and the state of many during “perilous times” when they become covetous (2Ti 3:2).
In a nutshell, money is necessary, poverty is a curse, but when the desire for wealth moves one to do disservice to others, that “love” has come to a dangerous level.
You have taught me so much about money, Bob. And one of those things is that it is ok NOT to love it. I’ve experienced what Gina talks about in her comment and just wanted to run screaming from the room because I wanted someone to tell me I didn’t HAVE to love money to be financially successful. But the words you and John gave to Ernesto in The Go-Giver are perfect; “will it make money is not a bad question, it’s just a bad FIRST question – the first question should be will it serve.”
I come back to that so often in my thinking and it has also helped me to break through to being okay with asking that question “will it make money.”
I was thinking on that when I wrote this in my last blog post of 2009 about goals and resolutions:
So here is the vital question; “how will achieving your goals serve you?”
Again, “money” isn’t a bad answer. But it is a bad first answer. Because money, in and of itself doesn’t serve. No one wants money just to have money. You want money for what it will buy, for what it says about you, for the status, for the security, for the good you can do with it, for all kinds of practical and emotional reasons. Money alone doesn’t answer the question.
So I’m with you – money is a concept, in and of itself it serves no one. But it has the power to be of great service and I love service.
After being home for the holidays it is so refreshing to hear your uplifting opinions – I for one am glad that you often share them 🙂 What I learned on my Christmas vacation? Make your gifts so they come from the heart (not the store – we can learn from the Grinch) and think of being together with family as a time to communicate rather than “making a haul”! I’m putting your saying front & center “Use Money and love people”!!! Thanks for helping improve my day and start the year off right!
Hooray for Bob! I’ve been to conferences where they spend a great deal of time getting the audience to chant out loud things like “I LOVE money (and money loves me).’ Although I get their point, the whole time I was thinking exactly what you’re saying right here.
I am certain that when we focus on loving and serving people and creating value for them, that the money issue takes care of itself. Thanks so much for sounding off, my friend!
Now now Bob. When the phrase “I love money” is used, I’m sure it’s mostly common sense to reject the idea that they were not using it about the material that it’s made of. It is commonly used to express feeling one has for the “experience” money represents. Just like when I say “I love my mom”, I am not talking about the community of cells that she is made up of. I am talking about her energy self that will live on and the experience I have of her in my life.
May the experience of money help to serve your life purpose.
Hey Bob, love how you pointed out that “money” is “means of exchange.” We pay for food, pay our mortgage or rent, clothing, gifts, etc. That exchange can be for something tangible, or not.
Regardless, you exchange it for something you want, need or desire.
To ask myself if I love money, I look at the biblical definition of what “Love” is:
1 Cor 13: 4-7
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
In that context, I most definitely can’t love money, for the action I give it, will not reciprocate a response that formulates the “Love” cycle. (Did you know that “money” is referenced over 2000 times in the bible…one of the most talked about subject)
I am assuming you mean “I Love Money” as someone who has a huge desire for money, and that it consumes their every being (or perhaps not to the extreme). The time they spent on producing it, thinking about it, and the sacrifices they make it to attain it, goes beyond what they basically need to survive.
My answer is no. I love people, they are more important to me.
Highly recommend reading “Your Money Counts” from Dayton.
Money is not evil, but it can be the “root of all evil”.
Lets rather use money to build up others, to win people, to make a difference and change the world in a positive manner.
“Use money and love people…rather than the other way around.” I think that just about sums it up! If loving others is my main focus and goal then everything else will fall into place. Over this past month I was surprised by all of the people I heard speaking negatively about how they have “given up on Christmas because it is all about money”. Considering “CHRISTmas” has absolutely nothing to do with money to begin with these comments made me very sad. I guess technically people do not “love” money in the true sense of the word love (love being an action verb, not a state of being verb). So many people use the word love flippantly i.e. I love Facebook, I love my iPhone. Loving money probably falls into that same category…either a strong desire for money or flippancy towards what actual love is. Like you said in your blog Bob, it’s all about what you focus on. I never want to take loving others lightly because as far as I am concerned “Life’s greatest gift is love and life’s greatest joy is sharing it.”
Just a quick note to let all of you know how thankful I am that you took the time to share your thoughts with us. I’m so blessed to have you all participate and be part of this blog. Much thanks!