Having shared four basic truths about money, that money cannot buy contentment, it does last forever, our basic needs are very few, and the desire to be wealthy leads to sin [1 Timothy 6:1-10], Paul now shows us five healthy and positive Biblical attitudes towards wealth and possessions.
It is Timothy’s responsibility to speak to his people in a way that they might not want to listen. Some people might react by saying, “It’s my money, I earned it, and I will do what I want with it”. It is true that we must make choices, but such an attitude reveals conceit and pride, and especially if we understand that all the money we have is because of God’s grace and belongs to Him. What then should be a healthy attitude towards wealth and possessions?
Firstly, be humble [verse 17a]. Don’t be arrogant or proud in the way that you handle money. Do not make an ostentatious show of riches that hurts and offends others, and recognise that it is God who gives the ability to make money [Deuteronomy 8:18].
Secondly, trust God [verse 17b]. Don’t be tempted to rely or depend upon money but on God. People can wake up to find themselves without a penny – but God is always there!
Thirdly, enjoy what God gives you [verse 17c]. What a word – “God richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for [our] enjoyment” [Amp. Bible].
It is not wrong to enjoy the things that God gives you, but remember it is God who provides and we should honour Him in all that we do.
Fourthly, employ what God gives you [v18]. We are to be “rich in good works, to be liberal and generous of heart, ready to share [with others]” [Amplified Bible]. One of the reasons we are commanded to work is not just to make money for ourselves, but also to give to the poor [Ephesians 4:28]. We are stewards of all that God gives us! Paul speaks of two kinds of money that He gives us – that which is seed, to be sown to bear the fruit of righteousness, and that which is bread, for ourselves to eat and enjoy [2 Corinthians 9:10]
Fifthly, look for Heaven’s Reward [verse 19]. Everything we do should be with eternity in view. As we do what is good and share with others, so we are laying up for ourselves “the riches that endure forever” [Amplified Bible].
What is your attitude to the money that God has blessed you with? In what way do you think it is seed to be sown and bread to be eaten?
Why is it important both to enjoy what God has given you and to employ what God has given you? In what way are you enjoying God’s provision?
It is both counter-cultural and Biblically cultural to recognise that we don’t just work to earn money for ourselves but to care for the poor. How does this impact you personally?