I Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
We are going to end our study on giving with this passage for now. This passage does not directly speak of giving, but it does speak of a right attitude toward money. Giving certainly requires a right attitude toward money.
Godliness is something that is impossible for the lost. They are not saved and thus cannot be godly. Godliness is a quality that every true child of God is given at salvation. It involves a reverence and respect for God. True Christians cannot scoff at God and His Word. It is foreign to the new nature they have been given at salvation.
In our text we see that godliness goes with contentment. The godly person is not striving for more things. He works hard at his duties. He is careful with the things that he receives. He is not one who goes out on strike. Unions are ungodly and not something that Christians should be involved with. The godly person does not compare himself to others who have more. He is not seeking to out-do others. A godly pastor does not try to impress others with external things. He is more concerned with spiritual matters. A godly congregant is also not concerned about having the top spot. He is content with whatever service he can give to the Lord.
Paul was directed to remind us that we came into this world with nothing. There are some people of whom it is said: “they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth.” There are people that are born into a wealthy home. However, the reality is that when a child comes out of the mother’s womb, it is not holding anything in its hand. It does not have a deed to some property in its hand. It comes into this world with nothing.
It is equally true that we leave this world with nothing. The queen was lowered into the vault this week. We do not know what she was dressed in. We know they removed some of her royal items from the top of the casket before they lowered it into the vault. It does not matter what the queen had in her casket. She has no say over those items anymore. Her soul left her body at the moment of death and from what we know of her, it is now in its second from final place. There will be one final judgment for her as for all lost people and then it will be in the lake of fire for all eternity. This is the sad reality for all those who reject the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and who choose to follow empty religious rituals rather than being born again.
In verse 8 we are reminded that having food and raiment should be enough to keep the true child of God content. We have noted before that the world is in a precarious state right now. The economies of the world are on the verge of collapse. This is due to the rejection of God and thus the moral bankruptcy of the nations. There is much talk of food shortages coming. There is also the move to try to stop the production of livestock. The elite are trying to keep people from consuming meat. They are encouraging companies to develop more meatless dishes. There are many people who cannot afford to purchase a home. God tells those who are saved that we should be content with food and raiment. We should be busy with spreading the Gospel rather than trying to build a large bank account.
In verse 9 we are reminded of the danger of making it a goal to be rich. Those who have that as their goal will fall into many types of sin. Some become crooks and thieves. Others are dishonest in their work. There are many ways to fall into the snare.
Judas had a desire to be rich. He was the treasurer for Jesus and the disciples. The Bible calls him a thief. He was willing to betray the Lord Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver. When things did not go as he planned, he threw the money back to the chief priests and went out and hung himself. He is in torment today and will be there for all eternity.
Verse 10 is a verse that is often misquoted. Money is not evil. It is the love of money that is the problem. Abraham was a wealthy man. David was a wealthy man as well. Solomon was one of the wealthiest men to ever live. God blessed them with wealth. Money is not the problem. It is our attitude toward money that can be a problem.
We have seen how many politicians and police and doctors and nurses are in love with money. They are willing to sacrifice their own health and that of others just to make money. News reporters are willing to spread propaganda and ignore the truth just to keep their jobs.
The pursuit of wealth at the expense of more important matters in life is not wise. Paul warned that some who have coveted after riches have erred from the faith. They have sacrificed that which is needful for that which they cannot hold on to. Those who make money their god will injure themselves with many sorrows. They may have enough money to try to purchase things to cover for their sorrows for the moment. However, their sorrow remains and is never removed.
When it comes to giving, we need to understand that if we think we will give once we have our “house” in order, that will not be a wise plan. True Christians should not look to give only where they can get a tax receipt. They should look to give where they can glorify God. When it comes to those who are in leadership in their local church, if the love of money takes hold, you will find yourself in more trouble than you ever thought possible. That trouble will be now and into eternity.
We need to take verses 6-8 seriously and learn to be content with what the Lord gives us through honest work. Give the Lord HIs rightful portion first and learn to live off the rest. God will help His children to know how to live and be content with that which He provides.