Read 1 Timothy 6:2b-16
Did you notice in today’s reading the two equations representing differing mindsets?
- Godliness = Monetary Gain
- Godliness + Contentment = Spiritual Gain
The first is the message of many false teachers in Timothy’s day . . . and also in ours. They embrace conclusions that are contrary to biblical teaching about Christ and godliness. They are characterized by pride, and controversial quarrels and friction seem to follow them wherever they go. Either their teaching or their motivation is characterized by the idea that “godliness is a means of gain.” As a result, they either teach that “God wants you wealthy” or they use their false spiritual platform thinking they will use this spiritual façade to make themselves wealthy.
Meanwhile, equation #2 reflects life the way God planned it. Indeed there is benefit, there is gain to leading a genuinely godly life. But there are three important caveats that make this much different from equation #1:
- The gain is not necessarily financial. If your life is fueled by the motivation to get financially ahead, you are setting yourself up for disaster! That disaster is exposed in verse 11. “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
- Instead, we must possess a pervasive attitude of contentment. Most people I know (myself included) have a refrigerator, freezer, and a pantry or cupboards in which there is food for meals for days to come. In our closets, dressers, and storage containers are found ample clothes that would make it unnecessary for us to do laundry for days if we so chose. Contentment says, “As long as I have clothes on my back and my next meal, I need nothing more.”
- This godliness is true godliness. It is not characterized by false teaching, by pride, or by dissension and quarreling. Instead, it embraces the essential truths of the faith and seeks to respond in obedience to God’s expectations . . . not find loopholes. It is sincere, not motivated by any anticipated win other than gratefulness for all that God has provided and a desire to please Him and experience all He has truly intended.
Fix your focus on Christ and pursue equation #2!