You Might Be A Lover Of Money If…
- You spend more time thinking about how to get more money than thinking about how to do a good job at your workplace.
- No matter how much money you make it’s never enough.
- You flaunt your money and what it provides.
- You resent giving it away.
- You will sin, cheat, lie or steal to get more money. (John MacArthur)
“The worst thing about owning a lot of stuff is that with the pursuit of wealth comes the real chase: the good life. But the chase soon reverses itself. The life of treasure we seek all too soon seeks us. The having of treasure becomes the pursuer. Then materialism owns everything, and materialism is so much a this-world focus that the globe shrinks to the very small world of singular appetites and involvements. Hence we fall asleep as a Christian in a wide bed, and we wake up a Narcissus”. (Calvin Miller – The Vanishing Evangelical)
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
I have read this passage over more times than I can remember but this time around two things stood out to me. The first is the idea of “command“. I have a friend whose teenage son attends a Sports High School. They have 3 hour classes so the kids can finish early and have most of the afternoon for practice. One day the coach came into his class and made him drop and give him 20. (I have no idea what he did to deserve this) Now when the coach gave the command I’m sure this teenage didn’t think, “Well, I have a choice here so let me think for a moment as to what I would like to do?” That never happened, he dropped and gave him 20!! There is no option in Paul’s command either. As a Christian we are commanded to put our hope in God and not in money. The demonstration of this command is another command to be rich in good deeds, generous and be willing share.
The second idea that stood out to me is “living for another world“. Shouldn’t everyone whether you are a Christian of not be generous? Of course, if there is a need that we can fill we should do our best to help. For the Christian the reason for generosity goes beyond making the world a better place, our generosity points people to God.
In this passage Paul gives the benefit to the believer for being generous, they will “lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.” But this is secondary to a much more important reason for generosity that Jesus gives in his “Sermon on the Mount”. “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16) Therefore, our generosity is an opportunity of evangelism and sharing Jesus in a practical way.
When it comes to your time, talent (ability) and treasure (money). How are you doing in the generosity department? Are you following the command to be generous or are you taking more as a suggestion? Are you living more for this world or the world to come? Is your hand closed or open when it comes to these 3 areas? If your hand is closed what are you going to do about it? When we really start taking this command seriously and start living for the world to come. This world will be a better place and we will be better people and better ambassadors for Jesus in it.