Read 1 TIMOTHY 6:17–19
A rich young man once asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” In the conversation that followed, it became obvious that the man valued his great wealth more than he valued God or eternal life. Jesus observed: “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! . . . It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:17–25).
Worry, anxiety, and contentment are closely related to our attitude toward money. It must not become an idol in our hearts. Our hope should be in God alone (v. 17). We are to value Him above all else! This is true whether we are rich or poor, yet being rich presents a particularly strong temptation.
Money is a means to power and comfort. Because it can seem to get us what we want, wealth tempts us to put our faith and hope in it. But that would be foolish, not least because money is temporal and uncertain. We should instead trust in God, who “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (v. 17; see Acts 14:17).
The rich can resist temptation by doing good deeds, especially ones involving generosity and sharing (v. 18). If money is seen as a resource to be used for the kingdom of heaven, such actions will follow naturally for those who love God. In fact, they’ve been prepared in advance by God (Eph. 2:10). Instead of laying up treasure on earth, they will lay up treasure in heaven and show that their hearts are truly set on the things of God (v. 19; Matt. 6:19–21). Then, instead of dying and leaving behind all they’ve acquired, they will be well prepared for heaven and ready and eager to enjoy eternal life with Christ.
APPLY THE WORD
Review your budget and spending: what are your priorities? How do you “lay up treasure in heaven” in the way that you use your finances? Review your attitudes toward money: where are your anxieties? Do you place too much trust in your income or savings and refuse to share? Do you constantly pine for more rather than practice contentment?