Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” I like the way the New American Standard Bible reads here — “a root” instead of “the root,” as it is translated elsewhere. It is silly to suggest that the love of money is “the” cause of evil in this world. But it is certainly “a” cause — and one that rears its ugly head in all sorts of circumstances.
When Paul said goodbye to the Ephesian elders in Miletus, he told them he knew he would never see their faces again (Acts 20:25). However, his dealings with the church at Ephesus were not entirely completed, according to 1 Timothy 1:3, If we believe Paul was guided by inspiration in Miletus, we have to take him at his word. That means the church at Ephesus during Paul’s third preaching tour was dramatically different from the one with which Timothy was working just six or seven years later.