1 Timothy 6:17-19

As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

This text begins with two warnings and one invitation to those who are rich. To help us best hear this text, let’s make sure that we include ourselves among those who are rich in this present age. (Because, face it, we might not be Warren Buffett or Bill Gates but if we are middle class or above and live in the United States we are among the richest people in the world.)

We are not to be “haughty” nor are we to set our hopes on our balance sheets. We are invited to set our hopes on God. Here is what that looks like for us:

A quick check on the definition of “haughty” says it means “arrogantly superior and disdainful.” We are in serious trouble if our self worth is a function of our net worth. Just because we have more toys doesn’t mean we are better people. As a matter of fact, just like when we were kids in the neighborhood, the kid with the most toys who also happened to have the most friends sometimes learned that his “friends” were far more interested in playing with his toys than with him and that stunk.

Our self worth begins with God who thought us worthy enough to die for us, and therefore declared us priceless. Think about that the next time you drive down the highway – from God’s point of view, every vehicle you see is only as valuable as the people in the seats.

As for setting our hopes on our balance sheets… Accountants use the words “balance sheet” to refer to a report that shows how our debits equal our credits.   But isn’t there much more involved in a well-balanced life than that? What adds more value to a parent’s life – chasing kids or chasing dollars? Work and play, rest and worship, adventure and contemplation, service given and received. There is so much more to life than bank accounts.   And none of us, NONE of us, really believe that those numbers have anything at all to do with what we will be talking about when giving a final accounting of our lives.

“That they may take hold of the life that really is life…”

Here’s the deal: We are where we are in our lives because that is where God wants us to be. We have what we have in order to be a blessing to others. We will discover the life that really is life when we “do good, are rich in good works, generous, and ready to share…”

Let us pray: Thank you, Gracious Lord, for the gift of my life and the gift of each day. Use me today to be a blessing to someone else. Give me an opportunity to do good and I’ll do it, to be generous and I’ll give, to share and I’ll share. May I treat everyone I meet today with the respect and honor they deserve, not because of their position in life but because of their position in your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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