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Money, what is it good for?

What do we really need?

In Paul’s first letter to Timothy he sets it out in Chapter 6. He says what we need is to be godly, there is great gain in godliness he says (v. 6).

Godliness means to be like God, good, loving, generous. Those are the basic attributes of God and you need to have those, to be good like the Father, to live a life of love like the Son, and to be infused with the Spirit.

There is great gain in godliness says Paul, particularly when it is combined with contentment. The Greek word here has a meaning of enough, enoughness, satisfied with what you have. Paul reminds Timothy of that great truth – we come into the world naked, and that is the way we leave (v 7), so if we have the basics, food and clothing, we should be content with these – they are enough. When we want more, that is when we can fall into temptation, when our desires, the things we want, overcome the things we actually need. That is the path to ruin and destruction according to Paul. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich, some wander from the faith. (v.10) Paul says to Timothy, shun those things. What you should be pursuing is righteousness, faith, love, endurance gentleness, all attributes of God, all attributes of a godly person. (v. 11) That is what you need to be fighting for, take hold of those, and they are enough, more than enough.

Paul says, the basic confession is enough, more than enough. That confession made by Jesus himself before Pilate is the good confession that Jesus is our one and only sovereign, King of kings, Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, lives in unapproachable light (v.16), to Him be honor and eternal dominion. That confession is enough, why do you need more?

So, money, what is it good for? The important thing is what we do with it, how we are to be satisfied with it. not haughty, not relying on it for our happiness, but still relying on God, who is rich and generous. What we who are to do with our money is to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, ready to share, storing up where it is important, to have a life that is really a life (v.19).

Money, what is it good for? Think about what people say when they emerge from that house destroyed by a tornado, or come back to their house destroyed by fire. “At least we still have our lives, each other.”

So, what are your hopes and dreams centered on, some material thing, or is it on God? Don’t rely on material things. Set your hopes on the eternal thing. Rely on God and be grateful to God. See that all you have is God’s gift to you and share that blessing with others, particularly with those in need. That is how you take hold of life that is really life, that is what money is good for.

REV. DALE BROWN is the pastor of Cumberland and Guinea Presbyterian churches. His email address is dalembesq@aol.com