We live in a society where we are taught from a young age that our occupation defines us as a person. If we are earning a substantial salary, own a luxury car, live in a costly house and wear designer clothes, then we are considered successful. The church reinforces this philosophy even further with a teaching that states that if you don’t have the ‘best’ the world has to offer, then you are somehow missing God’s will for your life. Let’s take an in-depth look at what the Word of God has to say about great wealth.
Matthew 6:31-33 says, “So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”
Why then, if we are not suppose to seek after ‘these things,’ are we encouraged to do exactly that from many pulpits? This type of error in teaching serves only to create disillusionment in the hearts of the people of God. Instead of being happy with what God has blessed us with ‘from day to day’, we sit in discontentment blaming God for not fulfilling His so called promises. (These teaching state that it is God’s will for us to all to drive a Lexus or something comparable and to wear the best of clothes, etc.) We feel like failures for not having ‘enough faith’ to even be able to buy the same kind of suit that the ‘Man of God’ is wearing — though he has thousands of people throwing money in his bucket at every service and we hold a nine to five job.
Let’s look at what the apostle Paul taught Timothy. Timothy had the responsibility of rearing the young church in Ephesus and was instructed to teach these things as ‘foundations for a godly life’ because false teachers had come into the young church who saw religion as a way to get rich (vs. 2b-5)
1 Timothy 6:6-11 Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth. After all, we didn’t bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. But you, Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
So what are we to pursue? According to this scripture, we are to pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. According to Matthew 6, this is summarized as the kingdom of God. It is clear that we are taught by both the apostle Paul and by our Lord Jesus to be content.
Category: Living the Faith