Living in the materialistic world we live in, this HAS to be today’s passage. The more calloused and familiar to passages like these that we get, the more we need to hear them, and new wording only helps.
We brought nothing into the world, after all, and we certainly can’t take anything out. If we have food and clothing, we should be satisfied with it. People who want to be rich, by contrast, fall into temptation and a trap, and into many foolish and dangerous lusts which drown people in devastation and destruction. The love of money, you see, is the root of all evil. Some people have been so eager to get rich that they have wandered away from the faith and have impaled themselves painfully in several ways. . . . What about people who are rich in this present world? Tell them not to think of themselves too highly, and to set their hopes, not on something so uncertain as riches, but on the God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous and eager to share. That way, they will treasure up for themselves a good foundation for the future, and thereby come to possess the life which really is life. (6:7-10, 17-19)
Categories: 1 Timothy
Tags: 1 Timothy, Bible, generosity, get rich, good works, materialism, money, reading, rich, riches, sharing, tempted, wealth
I think there maybe no more timely verses for this world than these from today’s reading:
Watch out and beware of all greed! Your life doesn’t consist of the sum total of your possessions. . . . So don’t go hunting about for what to eat or what to drink, and don’t be anxious. The nations of the world go searching for all that stuff, and your father knows you need it. This is what you should search for: God’s kingdom! Then all the rest will be given you as well. (12:15, 29-32)
I don’t know a modern American Christian for whom greed and anxiety over money is not a temptation at least potentially. That is what comes when you live in a culture focused on money and materialism.
I don’t think there are any great secrets to conquering greed, at least not in our context (maybe you know one?). I only conclude that with prayer and accountability we have to raise this struggle to the conscious level and fight it aggressively. Maybe we ask ourselves why we are purchasing what we do. Maybe we regularly deny ourselves certain intended purchases and extravagances. I know spending time in environments far less affluent helps considerably. So too does the practice of sacrificial giving to others. Another big help is what Jesus says here. Get busy trying to advance God’s kingdom and little by little, over a lifetime maybe, the trinkets of this world become less attractive. At least that is what I am telling myself.
How do you fight greed, anxiety about money, and the temptation to be materialistic?
Tags: accountability, affluence, America, anxiety, Bible, giving, God, greed, jesus, kingdom, Luke, materialism, money, possessions, poverty, prayer, reading, sacrifice, worry