What is the root of all evil? Some say it is the love of money. Some say it is religion. Pope Francis says it is inequality. In my opinion, the root of all evil is greed and covetousness.
I have three biblical and three non-biblical examples to substantiate my point:
- Adam and Eve coveted what they were not supposed to have. In order to be as gods, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden apple. (Genesis 3:1–6)
- King David coveted Uriah’s wife. In order to get rid of Uriah, he sent Uriah to die in battle. (2 Samuel:2–17)
- Judas was greedy for money. For thirty pieces of silver Judas delivered Jesus to the chief priests. (Matthew 26:14–16)
- The Japanese had long coveted China’s land and resources, hence the Japanese invasion of China in 1939.
- Slavery existed and still exists because of people’s greed for money. Women and children are sold for money.
- To keep his grip on power, Pol Pot killed thousands of Cambodians during his four-year rule.
As human beings, we are prone to greed and covetousness. For this reason, God laid down the last five commandments to help us walk the straight and narrow path.
Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Exodus 20:14–17)
Jesus simplified things for us when He gave us the two greatest commandments of love, as we read in Matthew 22:35–40:
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
The world will be a beautiful place if we all have love in our hearts.