Contributed by Debbie G.

“Content with poverty, my soul I arm; And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.” – John Dryden

Many religions teach that being poor is virtuous. In our own culture, we often view money as the root of all evil and the rich, the 1%, as being the cause of the world’s problems.  But the commonly known quote, “Money is the root of all evil” is misquoted.  The complete quote is, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”  When viewed through this prism, the interpretation has more to do with Greed (which is one of the seven deadly sins) rather than “having money” per se.

This common misunderstanding affects us in ways that might not always be apparent to us. For example, if a person dreams of being rich but believes that having money will turn them into someone evil, they might unconsciously sabotage their money-making potential. Did you know that 80% of all lottery winners declare bankruptcy within 5 years? When they finally achieve their dream of being rich, they whittle away their winnings by spending unwisely.

The impact of this fear cannot be underestimated. Some people can end up living paycheck to paycheck even after getting one raise after another or they don’t contribute to 401(k) or savings accounts. Others don’t recognize money making opportunities when they come their way or stop themselves from seeking promotions. Then they pass this mindset to their children.

Money is not the root of evil; it is merely a tool, like a hammer.  You would not pound a hammer into a block of wood with your own hand because you believe using your hand is more virtuous than a hammer.  If we are able to change our way of thinking about money and see it as a tool, we can gain financial independence and control over our money.

What are your views about money? We invite you to share your comments in the box below.