Question: Is money good? Of course it is. Money buys me food, clothing & shelter: these are my basic needs. So next question: Is making money worldly or godly? A tricky question… with complicated answers. So here’s my thought on money matters – whether godly or not… taken from 1 Timothy 6:5b-6; 17-19.
Background: Paul wrote 2 letters to his spiritual son, Timothy urging him to correct faulty teachings of false teachers in house churches in Ephesus. Paul presented 2 perspectives on godliness and gain = what it means to be good and what it means to benefit or get something from being good.
Mindsets of the godly and ungodly:
As we think, so we live. What we believe guides how we act. There are two perspectives on material wealth.
Ungodly mindset (v5b): Godliness is a means to gain. Gain is not only monetary, can be worldly honor too. False teachers thought they will or should gain something for being good. Hypocrisy: They hid their selfish interests for worldly goodies behind a facade of (seemingly) godly goodness.
Godly mindset (v6): Godliness+contentment = great gain. To be godly is to have God at the center of life. Find satisfaction in Him alone. That is the ‘GREAT’ gain – to be content whether hungry or full, in plenty or want. Why? Because we come into the world in our bday suit and we go in a box or an urn. If we have food/clothing, we should be content because we have God.
Application: (v.17-19) Those who are rich in the world are to be humble and hope in the Lord. .. be rich in good deeds – and generous with God’s good gifts.
Finally, when we live a mindset of godliness with contentment, we are building (investing in) a strong foundation – unshaken by currency fluctuations; unmoved by life uncertainties. We can stand firm because God is immovable and his kingdom is unshakable. When we find satisfaction in the unchangeable God, our Savior, who richly provides everything for our enjoyment, we have a firm foundation not only for the ‘there (heaven) and then (future)’ but an abundant life in the ‘here and now.’ This is eternal life on earth as it is in heaven.
A self-reminder: God alone is sufficient.