17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, 19 storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19
Have you ever thought prayerfully about whether you place too much importance on and trust in your financial treasure here on earth? If you are like me, the uncomfortable truth and honest answer is probably yes.
As I have meditated on 1 Timothy 6:17-19 this week during the increasing impact of the Coronavirus outbreak in our country, it seems as if these verses from the Apostle Paul two thousand years ago were written specifically for me. In these very uncertain times, with asset values in our 401-K’s and IRA’s dropping in response to the current pandemic, we are told in verse 17 not to “set our hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all the things to enjoy.”
Perhaps some of us feel we are not wealthy, and therefore this scripture may not apply to us as directly as it would to a wealthy investor or a CEO on Wall Street. But in reality, those of us blessed to be living in Middle Tennessee are indeed wealthy compared with the living standards of most people in the world today. This may make us subconsciously feel a little superior or even a bit arrogant when we think about others in our world who haven’t been blessed with as much financial prosperity.
Yet early in verse 17 we are warned to avoid this type of thinking with these words: “Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant.” Instead, we should humbly consider how we can serve others through the wealth we have received from God. Those who are wealthy are also instructed in verse 18 to “do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good reserve for the age to come so that they make take hold of the life that is real.”
Today we have even more opportunities to do good works in our community by helping those who are in need following the recent Middle Tennessee tornado outbreak and now the new and unique needs created by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do I need to refocus my thoughts on—and more strongly place my trust in—God’s loving provision during the time of crisis and economic decline we are currently experiencing?
- How can I share the wealth God has provided me to faithfully help others who are suffering today in my community, in our nation and across the globe?
- What new opportunities “to be rich in good works” has God presented to me through the recent events? How can I reach out to help others in need?