Paul’s parting words to close out his first letter to Timothy share great wisdom. While he is using the example of a rich person, I realize not everybody has great riches. In fact, there is more poverty in this world than wealth. If you have healthy bank accounts, Paul’s message should surely resonate with you!
Several readings ago, Paul spoke of being careful of the evil money can evoke. It’s not the money that is evil, it can be used for good. So, Paul encourages Timothy, “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.” We have all known very generous people, but also seen those who keep all their wealth to themselves.
According to Paul, those blessed with great wealth should desire to help, to serve, and to support missions that glorify God. I agree with Paul. Totally. Compared to many, I am rich. I live in a house and have a car to drive and clothes in the closet. I believe that Paul’s talking about an abundance beyond the basic needs. Bottom line is their trust should be in God and not the bank account.
Have you ever known anyone who inherited great wealth and then spent it all on frivolous things? Perhaps the prodigal son story comes to mind if not some colleague or acquaintance. In that story (found in Luke 15) we see hope extended from a loving father despite the squandering of the wealth. The wayward son was not heeding Paul’s advice to those having great wealth.
It’s always good to remember we have a forgiving Father who loves us. God’s word instructs us on best practices, how God desires for us to live so we can “maximize the experience,” so to speak. Paul gives us wise advice we should do our best to follow: “guard what God has entrusted to you.”
God has entrusted so much more to you than money. How are you handling the gifts he’s given? Are you using them for his glory? It’s always about pleasing God with our love for him and others. There are many people who haven’t figured this out.
How are you glorifying God with those things he’s entrusted to you?
Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for all that you have given me. I am so overcome with gratitude when I think of the abundance. Thank you for covering me every moment with your grace and mercy. May I always bring you honor with the way I handle your provisions. I trust you with my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.