But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 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. 1 Timothy 6:6-10
In this society, who is content with daily food and a shirt on your back? I don’t know anyone like that. Even if “covering” means a roof over one’s head, surely it doesn’t mean a three-car garage too!
The formula is godliness + contentment=great gain. We restructure the equation to godliness + great gain=contentment.
The love of money truly is one of the main sources of temptation in our lives. But you might say, “I don’t love money!” Alas, you do, for a desire for anything more than food and covering acquired with it puts you on shaky ground. Or so it looks.
We may not “love” money as described here (the Greek word here for which connotes “avarice” or “greed”), but we do love the things it buys. If you live in a thatched hut somewhere in the jungle, you may be preoccupied with what can be killed for dinner that night. In this society, one must only drive down a road to see something on a back-lit billboard worthy of acquisition, ergo the temptation.
At the very least, money and material things present huge distractions in our walks with Christ. It doesn’t help either for the church to be so preoccupied with it. There the word “covering” is stretched to include all sorts of amenities and staff people for “ministry.”
Somehow our insatiable desire for dollars has to be tamed. We may have averted “ruin and destruction” up to now, but have we wasted precious time and talent pursuing and managing the things money can buy? Probably.
I’m not confident I can pull this off, the remedial efforts that is, outside of some divine intervention. And we wonder about “financial setbacks.” Perhaps the Lord is trying to reset the equation in our lives.
From where I sit, better off are those with a little rather than a lot. But what is a lot?
Probably too much!