Lord, let the joy of who You are indwell my heart, and may I sing Your praise at all times.
Read 1 TIMOTHY 6:2-10
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“We must counter the almost universal greed and self-aggrandizement that characterize modern existence. What really counts is how many of Christ’s little ones we comfort with a cup of cool water, how we care for the lonely, the desperate, and the ill” (John Killinger).
A recent poll identified the top three sleaziest professions: mafia bosses, prostitutes and—I am sorry to say—televangelists. One reason for the last of these is tied to the appeals for money which punctuates their broadcast services. The public suspect that such people are in the business solely for personal financial gain. This seems to have been a motivation of the false teachers whom Timothy had to confront. The brief sketch in vs. 3-5 is quite devastating, and hints that they used their position to make a fast buck (5).
This provoked Paul to give us a simple but profound maxim: “godliness with contentment is great gain” (6). He develops this theme in the following verses, showing the destructive results of a life that is dominated by love of money. It can even tempt Christians away from committed faith and into the painful tragedies which inevitably follow (10).
Those of us in Western, materialistic societies need to adopt the attitude of “godliness with contentment.” We live in a world infected by “affluenza,” where too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. It is a creeping, insidious, corrupting influence, which so easily infiltrates our standards and values, so we need to hear the warnings which this passage brings to us. Don’t imagine that this world is all there is. Don’t be intoxicated by wealth or possessions or status. It’s a dead end. Instead, live in the light of what really matters. It may be countercultural, but we must learn to live with simplicity and contentment, as Paul expresses in his testimony, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Phil. 4:11-13). It is this settled contentment for which we must pray.
In what ways do you think the world’s materialism might affect you? How could you move to the state of “godliness with contentment” to which this passage points?
Searching Lord, probe my heart so I may seriously consider where my treasure lies. Empower me to give what I have, and am, to bless others and advance Your kingdom.
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