Money is such a contentious thing isn’t it. We have to work hard for it, we need it to live and we want to be able to live well too. Then of course there’s the rainy-day problem. If we give all our surplus money away how do we manage unexpected problems when they arise? We all know that without money our churches and other charities would collapse so where do we draw the line between doing what we have to do to live and supporting the work of the churches we belong to?
Paul says, “godliness with contentment is great gain” (v.6). He goes on to say that we have nothing at the start and we’ll have nothing at the end of life so be happy with what you’ve got. He says that wealth and the acquisition of wealth is a distraction that will do us no good so let’s not get too hung up on it. All sort of, fairly helpful but where do we draw the line between seeking enough to live and pursuing too much? Paul’s response asks us to consider what we really need. Do we have food, clothing (and by extension I’d argue, somewhere to live and enough to pay your bills) then be happy with that. He cautions us to remember that the love of money is a slippery slope that can lead to a dark places.
Christians Against Poverty have a great strapline that sets a good standard. They say we need “Enough to live and enough to give.” Yes, the boundaries may be a little fuzzy but pray about it and see what God says.
I love Paul’s final encouragement. “Fight the good fight of faith, take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (v.12) It puts everything into perspective. Keep your eyes on the real prize – the eternal life which we have all been promised and don’t be distracted from that goal!
How do you feel about money? Are you satisfied that God blesses you with what you need and are you happy with that? Are you able to give away your surplus? If you’re struggling where are you looking for help?
Lord God help us all to be wise with our resources. Help us to see Your hand at work and to know that You are our Lord and our provider. Increase our faith in You and our desire to walk with You. Amen.