I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. Beginning what I hoped would be a spiritual conversation, I asked my dear friend what they wanted out of life. “Dave, I want to be rich; REALLY rich.” My heart sank as I heard the reply. First, I knew it meant that they and I wouldn’t likely travel the same path. Second, I feared what such a desire might mean for them.
Years later I wondered if they drove the super-expensive sports car to divorce court – for they ended up with both. The pursuit of worldly success left them with little time for each other, and eventually one of them had an affair. Shortly thereafter, their estate was sold and split between them.
Divorce happens; and there is nothing inherently wrong with acquiring some nice things along the road. But if our life’s goal is the pursuit of worldly goods, we’re likely headed for the type of trouble described above. Paul understood the lure of money, and he warned his protégé, Timothy, to guard against the love of it. Listen closely to his words:
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For 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. (1 Timothy 6:6-10)
After giving these warnings, Paul told Timothy that the person of God is to pursue these things instead – righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness (v.11). This world does a great job of getting us to focus on money, and prepares us in many ways to obtain it. But, it’s much more difficult to swim against the current and pursue godliness instead.
What’s your goal? Do you want to be really rich, or really godly? –Dave
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