A Theology of Wealth
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. — 1 Timothy 6:17-19
So this excerpt, to me, feels like an add-on for Paul. Like he is throwing in his last 10% at Timothy at the close of the letter. Even so, it still has some excellent stuff in it.
In this excerpt, Paul addresses the issue of wealth one more time. And thus, we get a very good theology of wealth. The first thing I notice are four ways a godly person of wealth uses their riches:
- To do good — or to use their wealth to proportionately do more good in the world.
- To be rich in good works — or to lead, manage, and steward their wealth so the world can see God.
- To be generous — or to give extravagantly without expectation.
- To be ready to share — or always positioned with a plan to give away their possessions, so they don't possess them.
And why should wealthy believers do these four things?
Because they know two things. First, that God is sure and wealth is not. Second, there are two types of investments — temporary and eternal, and one is far wiser.
But here's the deal. This theological exercise applies to lots of things. It's applicable not only to a wealthy man's treasure but also to our time and talents. So if you are rich in treasure, the challenges should be clear — use your wealth in the four godly ways because you know the two things believers know — God is certain, and investment in him is sure.
But if you have a wealth of time and talent, maybe you should consider addressing this too. Here are two questions that might help:
- Are you using your time and talents in the four ways Paul describes? If not, make the needed adjustments.
- Are you thinking about your time and talents in a godly way? If not, make the needed adjustments.
ASK THIS: Ask the questions above.
DO THIS: Make the needed adjustments.
PRAY THIS: God, you possess endless wealth. May I always focus on you.
PLAY THIS: Jesus, My Treasure.
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