The most misquoted scripture has to be 1 Timothy 6:10. Hands down. No contest. Probably because it has to do with something that we all deal with daily. Money. Many people see money as the source of evil. Their point is well taken. The “paper chase” merely reflects our cultural desire for bigger and better things. Outlandish spending and the pursuit of wealth has long been a part of the psyche of the hip-hop community. A video isn’t quite a video without a fleet of luxury cars (even if they are all rented for the video shoot). A hip-hop artist hasn’t arrived until they’ve visited Jacob the Jeweler. No stopping until, as B.I.G. put it, we can put “5 carats” in our baby girl’s ear.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
All of this opulent living could lead to one conclusion: money is the root of all kinds of evil. Not so! It’s the love of money that’s the problem.
When money becomes the object of one’s affection…to the point where he/she forgets his/her ultimate Source, then things become problematic.
A huge percentage of hip-hop artists “grew up in the Church.” A shift occurs for many of them when they reach a certain level of affluence. Of course honor is given to God at awards shows, but that’s about as far as it goes.
“These people honor me with their mouths, but their hearts are far from me” (Jesus in Matthew 15:8)
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a hip-hop basher. I do have a problem with hip-hop though. And that’s the false impression that children are given about the lavish lifestyles that many of these individuals live. I can count on one hand the number of rappers who are on Forbes Richest African-Americans list. In fact, I can count on one finger. Shawn Carter (I refuse to use the other name(s)). Yet, we’re given the impression that there are many, many more. Then kids embark on journeys to become the next greatest rapper. And they fail miserably. Get Money! Yeah, but at what cost? Paul admonishes Timothy to take a different route:
“But you, man of God, flee from all of this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11)
Admittedly, this does nothing for your street cred. But I guess it all boils down to who you are trying to please. “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10)
Sorry B.I.G. Although I can relate to playing Nintendo on the living room floor, I can’t get with you on the “Get Money” tip…especially if it means loving it more than my Creator.