1 Timothy 6:1-12,17-19

Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses….

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 6:1-12,17-19

Don’t you love that closing line, “so that they may take hold of the life that really is life”?

It reminds me of an old story we have all heard before. Or maybe we haven’t. So here it goes again.

So there was a wealthy guy who decided to go on vacation down on the coast of Mexico. While sitting on the beach in the morning, he saw the same guy in very tattered clothing come down each day to cast a line into the water. And each day the guy caught a few fish and left. Day after day, the same thing.

So one day the wealthy guy decided to take a risk and strike up a conversation. “So I notice you come down here each day to fish. You must love fishing.”

“Yes,” said the fisherman, “I come down here each day to fish. I do love fishing but I come here each day because this is the only way that I can feed my family. I have no job and we are very poor.”

“Well,” said the wealthy guy, “Have you ever considered fishing with a net? You could catch more fish that way, enough to eat and enough to sell. That way you could catch even more fish and then you could buy a boat. Then you could catch enough fish to maybe afford two boats and maybe even be able to employ others to fish alongside you. And then maybe you could afford even more boats and then you could have others fish FOR you.”

“But sir,” asked the fisherman, “If I had others to do the work for me, what would I do?”

“Well,” said the wealthy man, “You could do anything you wanted to do then!”

To which the fisherman replied, “I really do love fishing. That is what I am doing now.”

Since I was born in 1960 I don’t remember the days before washing machines and all of the other time saving devices that we take for granted today. But I have read that there was a time when people wore their clothes many times before washing them….but now it seems we run at least a load a day. And I do remember when we only got three channels on a black and white TV….and we didn’t spend as much time sitting around watching it as we do today. And I remember the days before cell phones and answering machines…when it was actually possible to go home from work and be done with it.

Why do we always assume it is better to be richer than we already are? Why are we always so hungry for more? Why, once we get what we long for, is there already something else just around the corner that we then long for?

When the writer cautions us against the temptation to fall in love with money (and the stuff and places it promises to give and take us), or warns us against the temptation to do anything to get it, he is trying to open our eyes to what really matters in life. In a life that is truly life. The life we actually want…and the life that God wants us to have.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, today we come to the end of another week. Thank you for the opportunities you gave us this week to serve others. Thank you for the many many ways that we were served by others. Thank you for what we have, for the people with whom we share our lives, and those we hold most dear. Fill our hearts today with a sense of enoughness, of contentment, of peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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One Response to “1 Timothy 6:1-12,17-19”

  1. Solveig Springer Says:

    How about the rich man and the Amish man. The rich man was gone from morning to night unable to spend time with the family. The Amish man went about his daily doing , had breakfast wit his family, tucked kids in at night. He said to the rich man ‘I think I am wealthier than you’. The rich man said how can that be. I have enough money and you don’t.

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