Question:

Hi, I was reading one your answers to the question Should I give up my job because I cheated some in college? about the tainted money thing. I just want to ask: what do you say to people when they use Proverbs 10:2 to support the idea that money can be tainted?


Answer:

"Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death" (Proverbs 10:2).

This verse is not about the money but about the person accumulating the money. All the money that a wicked person stores up cannot save him in the long run; yet, that is often the motivation for doing evil. People mistaken think there is security in wealth. "Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven" (Proverbs 23:5).

In contrast being righteous is by itself security. The reason is given in the next verse. "The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked" (Proverbs 10:3). When we are on God's side, we need nothing else. "So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"" (Hebrews 13:6).

The idea of tainted money is that somehow evil clings to the physical money and is passed on to someone who was not involved in the evil. Such an idea is nonsense. "The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20).