The Love of Money – 1 Timothy 6:3-21
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
If Paul had lived in the century of automobiles, he might have been the one to coin the phrase, “I’ve never seen a hearse towing a U-Haul.”
I imagine that Paul would be horrified if he were somehow transplanted into twenty-first century North American culture. He would probably question the ways that some of us acquire and utilize our financial resources. And I don’t know for sure, but I suspect he might even have some harsh words for the Christian church today.
Paul reduces our needs to food and clothing, and challenges us to be content with that! We are such a product of our culture (myself included!) that we can’t imagine living on such a minimalistic approach to life. It’s second nature for us to purchase things… and to build our portfolios… and to establish our own kingdoms.
Richard Stearns (World Vision) reminds us that “If you make just $11 a day, you are among the world’s wealthiest 25%. Does this change how you see your own circumstances?”
That’s not to say that money or wealth is inherently wrong or sinful. Remember that Paul doesn’t say “money is the root of all evil,” but instead says that “the love of money is the root of all evil.”
Put another way, our priorities must always reflect the Kingdom of God, and not the kingdoms of this world. Our stewardship of our finances and belongings ought to be subject to the truth that it all belongs to God in the first place, and that He’s entrusted it to our care in order to use it for His purposes. We ought to live in counter-cultural ways, even in the way we manage our resources.
I too must give.
Because of Thy great bounty, Lord,
Each day I live,
I shall divide my gifts from Thee
with ev’ry brother that I see
who has the need of help from me.
– Grace Noll Crowell