Text: 1Timothy 6:1-10
The major focus of the bible text is on the issue of money and how we handle it or allow it to handle us. Verses 1-2 advocates submissiveness to our masters. Slavery is outlawed today but we always have someone we may need to defer to his or her demands above our own, especially, in the place of work, church environment or the family. These are our bosses. Verse 2 demands that when we are under a fellow believer we should even work harder. Having a fellow believer as a boss does not condone sloppiness and shoddiness. We must put in our best as shinning examples to others and for the gain of a fellow brethren who has employed us.
Verses 3-10 highlights on the issue of money and our relationship with it. The onus of the matter here is that no matter what money can solve for us in this life, it is not and should not be our focus or primary goal. Bible advocates that we work diligently to provide for ourselves and our dependents and also to give to the household of faith. God frowns at idleness, the book of proverbs is replete with a lot of teachings on diligence and hardworking. Even Paul teaches that he who does not work should not eat. But, for anyone who is a Christian to value material acquisition above his Christian virtues is tantamount to drowning into destruction and perdition (v9). If we wander from the faith in the course of money making and forget that our focus is on a godly life here on earth and eternity in heaven then we risk ‘piercing ourselves with many griefs”
However, two common mistakes must be avoided: this passage does not teach that there is no “gain” to be had by being godly. What it’s against is the mindset that working for God or serving God is a means to financial advancement. Or that it must bring about riches and wealth as an evidence of God’s goodness or of one being godly (v5) This heresy has become the norm in many modern churches that identify themselves as prosperity preachers. Godliness with contentment is great gain (v6) means that we are satisfied at the level of provision the lord has allowed us to have at any given time and we receive it with happy hearts and thankfulness while trusting him to take care of any areas of lack. Secondly, condemnation of the love of money (v10) does not mean that a Christian worker shouldn’t seek a raise or promotion in his place of work. Neither does it mean that a business person should not seek to make profit. The onus lies in our motives for the desire to be promoted or be more successful. What do you intend to use the added blessings for? For self aggrandisement or for the pursuit of heavenly treasures through good works to your neighbour and to the household of faith. A God pleasing life can be full of wonderful rewards, including financial rewards but that’s not our focus or our primary goal.
Father, grant us the grace of contentment at all times. Keep our eyes focused on your promises to feed us and clothe us as you do the birds of the air, that we may not fall into the money trap. This we pray in Jesus name, Amen!