True Riches

Earlier in 1 Timothy 6, Paul told the young preacher that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (verse 10).  As Paul concludes this letter to Timothy, he gives one more exhortation regarding those who are wealthy.  He tells them not to put their hope in their money because it is fleeting.  Can’t we all relate to that?  So many of us live paycheck to paycheck.  We literally depend on God for our daily bread.  Those who have been a little more blessed or have invested wisely still face uncertainty based on the fluctuation of markets and interest rates.  How many of us can say with complete confidence that we’re financially secure no matter what happens?  If you were laid off from your job or falsely accused of something and lost your job, how long could you survive?  We shouldn’t put our hope in wealth.
For those who are wealthier, Paul says that they should be “generous and willing to share” (verse 18).  This runs counter to our sinful nature.  Many of us are like little children.  We grasp onto our money and scream, “MINE!”  The wealthy may look down upon those who are poorer and say, “It’s your own fault that you’re in the situation you’re in.  You didn’t plan well enough” or “You didn’t pursue enough education” or “You’re just lazy.”  Though these may be true in some instances, Paul doesn’t say, “Be generous and willing to share with those who deserve it.”  I know hard working, well-educated people who, through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times.  It is not up to the wealthy to judge their brothers and sisters in Christ in order to determine whether or not they deserve their help.  It is up to wealthier Christians to use the blessings God has given them to do good deeds and share with those in need.  In doing this, they will store up treasures in heaven and those treasures never fade away.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)
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. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.19 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.

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