Layers of limitations to happiness: Clichés as limiting Beliefs- #1

Cliché #1: Money is the root of all evil. Money doesn’t grow on trees.

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Limiting belief/ Cliché # 1: Clichés about Money:

Money is the root of all evil. Money doesn’t grow on trees.

These are two of the many clichés that we hold, and some of us started hearing them since when we were children. We express them in conversations, and we affirm these to ourselves over time. While some clichés have a good meaning and were used intentionally to describe one’s situation, some of them have been misquoted over time and individuals have gained different interpretations of them. 

These obscure interpretations have gained the tendency to serve as limiting beliefs. AND, limiting beliefs interfere with our attitude, emotions, and behaviors as they limit us from unleashing our true joy, potential, and happiness due to fear, doubt, and cynicism.

The phrase, “Money is the root of all evil” is a popular phrase or cliché people use most of the time. I started hearing this phrase when I was a child, and I have always wondered how it truly translates.

The phrase, “The LOVE of Money can become the root of all evil”, originates from the Bible: Timothy 6:10, says “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.” It is often misquoted as just “Money is the root of all evil.” It is not money that is evil. Money itself is not bad. It is a blessing God gives us to bless others. How we use it will be our gift back to God. 

A sample conversation involving two sons, and their mom:

First son: Mom, I would like to become a Medical Doctor in the future. It’s fulfilling and it pays more money

Mom: No, No! Remember that money is the root of all evil. You becoming a doctor will give you more money and you will start doing bad things.

Second Son: Hmm! Mom, that’s a good point. I don’t want to be a bad person. I can do some other job that doesn’t pay that much so that I will not accumulate wealth and get corrupt.

Eventually, the first son grew up and became a Medical doctor, and specialized as a General Surgeon. With his high paying job, he established other institutions to train medical professionals. He partnered with the government to make health care services available, accessible and affordable to his country including the population living in the villages. The second son ended up as a petty trader, and his income was very seasonal, and not sufficient to take care of himself and his family. He was hiding this for a long time while silently suffering from the inside. In search of additional funds, he was dragged into a temptation to join a gang of friends to break into homes to steal stuff for money. He did this for quite a while before he was caught. This eventually came to light, and the first son intervened.

So, misunderstanding the origin of the phrase and focusing on its misquoted version, “Money is the root of evil” can be planting a limiting belief in the minds of individuals: (a) We do not want to have more money because we don’t want to become evil, (b) we associate money with evil, (c) we can use this to become critical of people, as we will be tempted to start judging those that have a lot of money as we assume that they must be bad, (d) even to become generous to certain extent, we become scared that we will be judged by others. When people do bad things and we notice that they have money, we can try to relate their bad choices to their wealth. Rich people do bad things, and bad things can also be done by non-rich people. Our attitude always plays a vital role in every given circumstance.

We know that money can buy so many things but true happiness and joy are not among those things. However, in our culture today, the complete lack of money can also buy misery. Most times, the approach we use in every situation in life can impact the outcomes. Money itself is not evil. It’s about allowing money or other material possessions to take over you in such a way that you deviate from its goodness and start doing things out of the way, abusing the resources, misusing the blessings, and abusing others. What becomes stressful, and creates all sorts of anxieties, and negative thoughts and eventually leads you to the wrong path through temptations is that too much love for money that will cause you to prioritize money seeking behaviors over everything else that truly matters for your purpose on earth. 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, “Everything is permissible for me,- but I will not be mastered by anything.” This encourages us to be determined not to allow things to have control over us in any way. Even those things and possessions that we have so much of.

The phrase describes “the love of money”, and not just money. Wealth, possession, and success can be as good or bad as how we get them, and how we use them. The verse describes the obsession with money that will translate into greed, abuse, and thoughtlessness to form the basis of many kinds of sin, and evil. It’s good to note that not all evil or bad havoc are resulting from money and material possession. Rather, it is the too much love of that wealth and money that can serve as temptation for individuals to drift away from their faith and plunge themselves into stress, sorrows, and evil doings. Psalms 62:10 says, “Don’t make your living by extortion or put your hope in stealing. And if your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life.”

The same goes for the phrase, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” This is meant to let us know that we are to spend money cautiously and that there is scarcity and we should not waste it. 

However, some people get limited by this so much that they become so heavily cautious and sometimes not even do something nice for themselves that might bring them joy within the moments (Hedonistic happiness). 

While in college, a friend of mine was so fixed on this notion that he limited his joy in such a way that he became very unhappy, complaining, and grumbling most of the time. His parents would give him some money for lunch but he would always give himself a very hard time to use the money due to his justification that he was been cautious of the phrase his dad has always told him “money doesn’t grow on trees.” He was almost always afraid to even give himself a little treat for all his hard work. Each time he wanted to buy something nice for himself or eat good food, he would grumble, whine, and become so worried about not finishing his money.

You deserve to use God’s blessings to treat yourself better and treat others as well. So, don’t limit your joy. If you have money, enjoy that money, and use it wisely to bless others and yourself. We believe that all good things come from God! We are mere stewards of his resources. You, your gifts, possession are all God’s gifts and blessings to you. What you decide to do with them, how you choose to use them- for your benefit, for the benefit of others, and for God’s glory – will be your gifts back to God.

Published by Mohamed Nabs Nabieu

I enjoy empowering people with proven techniques and tools to create a lasting change, set successful goals, and fully live a life of happiness and purpose. Let’s journey together to accomplish your dreams and aspirations! ________________________________________________________________________________ Certified Professional (Master) Life Coach; Motivational Speaker; Thought Leader. (Positive Psychology, NLP & Life Coaching Practitioner; Applied Organizational Psychology & Leadership).

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