The story of Saul of Tarsus, and his later conversion to Christianity is familiar to many christians and non-christians. After his conversion, Saul of Tarsus became Apostle Paul and is known to posterity as Saint Paul, the founding father of the spread of the gospel to gentiles. St Paul traveled extensively in the ancient mediterranean world, where he preached and helped to establish christian churches. In his old age, St Paul found it necessary to advise Timothy, a young pastor of the church at Ephesus, about the dangers of carnality; the need to be steadfast in the christian faith and the benefits therefrom. The letters (epistles) from St Paul to Timothy are known to posterity as First Timothy (1 Timothy) and Second Timothy (2 Timothy). St Paul's most important advice to Timothy is in 1 Timothy 6: 5-10:
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
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. 1 Timothy 6: 5-10 (KJV).
Saint Paul's advice remains very relevant today as it was centuries ago. Neither money nor a rich person is necessarily evil. Money is a necessary facilitator. However, the love of money is evil. This love is a perverse attraction to money by men and women of corrupt minds. The perverse attraction is so overwhelming that these corrupt minds become destitute of the truth. For example, the truth that public funds are meant for public good and not for self-aggrandizement and many other foolish and hurtful lusts, eludes them.
The recent United States Department of Justice indictment of a prominent and promising Nigerian business executive in Nigeria, for bank fraud and money laundry, is one example of the many evils from the love of money. There have been many before him and there will be many more after him. Many youths have been indoctrinated into the lovers of money culture. It is now cool to be an internet fraudster: young men and women gladly and proundly go online to defraud innocent victims of their hard earned money. Some will even travel outside their countries to set up shops in other countries.
Lovers of money eventually pierce themselves through with many sorrows. Unfortunately, they also cause many sorrows to others. Jesus Christ himself surmarized the nothingness in the love of money by asking:
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Matthew 16:26 (KJV).