Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stinking Rich

1Ti 6:6-12  Well, religion does make us very rich, if we are satisfied with what we have.  What did we bring into the world? Nothing! What can we take out of the world? Nothing!  So then, if we have food and clothes, that should be enough for us.  But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and are caught in the trap of many foolish and harmful desires, which pull them down to ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a source of all kinds of evil. Some have been so eager to have it that they have wandered away from the faith and have broken their hearts with many sorrows.  But you, man of God, avoid all these things. Strive for righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.  Run your best in the race of faith, and win eternal life for yourself; for it was to this life that God called you when you firmly professed your faith before many witnesses.......
1Ti 6:17-19  Command those who are rich in the things of this life not to be proud, but to place their hope, not in such an uncertain thing as riches, but in God, who generously gives us everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share with others.  In this way they will store up for themselves a treasure which will be a solid foundation for the future. And then they will be able to win the life which is true life.

The capitalist economic system is built on persuading people to accumulate. Being rich is projected as the desired goal of life. Yet our Christian faith runs counter to this. We are encouraged to avoid loving money; to resist the desire to be rich as a “trap of many foolish and harmful desires”.

Instead we are invited to learn to be satisfied with what we have. The desires that ought to capture our time and imagination are acts of generosity and good works. This is extremely difficult, because human beings struggle to be satisfied with what we have – we continually want more.  For this reason the follower of Jesus is encouraged to “Strive for righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness”.  These are the only qualities that will ensure peace on earth.

For thought:
“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Warren Buffett


The Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
The Rewards of Ministry
A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.84


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