Epiphany- Day 47
1 Timothy 6:11-21 NRSV
Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the profane chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge; by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith.
Grace be with you.
CONSIDER THIS. . .
Notice the interrelationships here between money, contentment and eternal life. There is something antithetical in the relationship between the pursuit of riches or the love of money and eternal life. The problem is not with money but with the pursuit of wealth. Really, the problem comes with pursuing the wrong kind of wealth. There are two sources of wealth at play here: money and eternal life. Paul seems to be saying it is impossible to pursue both. Jesus said something quite similar about having two masters, trying to serve God and money. He said this would result in hating one and loving the other.
Again, the problem isn’t even in being rich. Re-read the admonition in the third paragraph of the text above. The rich are exhorted to pursue the life that is really life.
Bottom line– The big warning: the love of money can keep you from eternal life. The big key: contentment with godliness is the pathway to the life that is really life.