Read 1 Timothy 6:6-21
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which God will bring about in his own time — God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
20Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.
Grace be with you. (NIV)
Paul is near the end of his letter and is giving a series of final thoughts to Timothy – some for the church and some directed at Timothy himself.
Paul talks first about being content which he puts with Godliness. This is one of the greatest things we can to do have peace in this world – to be content with what we have. It is interesting that the more money people have, the more they worry about their money. In the churches I have served, I have seen a connection between those who were content and those who struggled with what they had. And it was typically those with much that struggled with what they had. Someone once said that the more we have, the more enslaved we are as we become enslaved by our possession.
But we will see also that Paul does not condemn those who are wealthy as we see in verse 17-19. But there is a similar charge, put your hope in God, not your wealth. And those who have much need to be ready to share as they see a need. Paul connects doing good with our resources is putting treasure for ourselves in heaven. Someone once put it this way, “What I kept, I lost; what I gave away, I have.” Paul warns us all about the love of money, not of having money. The desire for wealth and things can cause us to do things that separate us from God and others.
In Verse 11, Paul begins to talk directly to Timothy. He begins by calling him “man of God.” This was an Old Testament title of honor. It was used of Moses and others like him. We always encourage one another when we honor one another. He tells him to pursue several things in his calling as a follower of Christ. And should hear the same admonition.
He begins with righteousness. This means giving to both God and others their due. It is the most comprehensive and inclusive of all the virtues. Next he puts together a group of three virtues, godliness, faith and love. These are the basic virtues we live each day in. We should always be aware of them as we go about our daily lives. Then he talks about endurance. Now the Greek word here doesn’t mean that we simply get through something, but that we endure it victoriously. We overcome whatever happens to us through our faith that God will help us to be victorious over these things that happen. And finally, he mentions the virtue of gentleness. When we can control our own spirit and not allow it to be angered in the wrong ways, we have a great witness to the world. We do need to be angry for the right reasons which are usually directed at oppression and suffering.
Paul then reminds Timothy to fight the good fight of faith. He reminds Timothy that we are in a struggle each day with good and evil. God gives us the strength to endure this fight. In verse 20, Paul reminds him to guard the what has been entrusted to him. The Greek word literally means “to deposit” like putting money in a bank. The image is the God has entrusted each of us with gifts and graces and there will be a day when we must reckon with God what he has deposited in each of us.
There is a lot in this final section. We even see Paul breaking out in a doxology in verses 15 and 16. But each us has been entrusted with different things by God. Are you using the things God has entrusted you with for the kingdom of God? Are you learning to be content each day with what you have? These things Paul mentions to Timothy, we should dwell on in our own lives from time to time.
Blessings and Peace