Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
If we don’t watch out we will spend a lifetime pursuing “riches.” For many this goal is elusive for at least two reasons: you get more and you want more, and as Paul says, riches are “uncertain.” They tend to grow wings and fly away (Proverbs 23:5).
Better to receive wealth from God in heaven who “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” Then when we do acquire riches, he instructs us to dole them out rather than to cling to them.
Why not spend a lifetime building a “good foundation” for the future by doing good works and sharing what you have with others? This is “taking hold of life indeed”, not building an investment account to be spent on temporal things or held in reserve for some unforeseen “monsoon.” (On the other hand, I think it’s good stewardship to save something for a normal rainy day.)
When we acquire wealth it’s very easy to become conceited or “high-minded.” We have all or more than we need and no potential pothole along the way is perceived as potentially disastrous. Better to be dependent on God and hanging by a shoestring.
We’ve all grown up in a culture that puts a premium on setting up a “nest egg” for the future. While we do this our pension plans–if we have them–are now targets to fund ever-increasing debt loads. Furthermore, even if we are cautious with our 401Ks, they are still subject to casino-like risks.
In Paul’s book. “life indeed” is not a lazy retirement or world travels–well maybe if it’s a mission trip. It’s doing good with our time and strategic divestiture of our treasure (Luke 3:11).
Won’t find that strategy in the Wall Street Journal.