Although the chances of winning the lottery are more remote than getting struck by lightning, millions of Americans regularly purchase tickets for the chance to claim a windfall of cash. Even more surprising is the number of winners who have discovered that being suddenly wealthy does not guarantee happiness.
Today’s passage reminds us that concentrating our efforts on being rich in this lifetime is misguided for the believer. In fact, we are to “flee” from that way of thinking. We are instructed instead to pursue “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (v. 11). Paul is not necessarily saying that being wealthy is wrong; rather, he suggests that the problem lies in the “love of money” (v. 10). We are not to fixate our efforts on wealth.
The reason Paul rejects a love of money for the believer is that it shifts our focus away from who we are in Christ. Everything we have belongs to God. When we are connected to God, we realize He alone is our provider. God not only ensures that we have our basic necessities of food and clothing but so “richly” provides for us that we also experience “enjoyment” (v. 17). We find joy in putting the things of God above the things of this world!
Recognizing this abundance from God motivates us to be generous. Rather than setting our sights on acquiring an enormous bank balance, we share whatever we have been given with others. Our treasure is really not ours at all! We are citizens not on this earth but of heaven (v. 19).
Our pursuit of godliness should be combined with a deep sense of gratitude and contentment for what God has given. By recognizing our eternal purpose, we will have a healthy attitude toward our earthly possessions.
As you pray today, please include the names of Alice Leighton-Armah, Annita Smith, Eunice Childress, and Michael Duong in the Controller’s Office. Thank God for their diligence, attention to detail, and financial expertise!