1 Timothy 6:6-19
For me in the middle class, contentment with only food and clothing is easier said than done. However, for the world's 1.22 billion people who live on less than $1.25 daily, basics of food, clothing, and, broadly translated, shelter could increase contentment. Money provides these basics and more, including funds for our congregations' outreach ministries that assist our neighbors.
Nevertheless, "love of money"—desiring excessive wealth and relying exclusively on money for our own security—causes worry about what will happen to us if the stock market falls, illness or disability strikes, or a natural disaster hits. We become fearful when we realize we can never save enough to protect completely our family and ourselves. We may feel impoverished and ruined as we destroy our relationships with God and our neighbors. Conversely, acquiring money to "do good," be "generous," and "share" with our neighbors results in an enormously rich life.
God, the Giver of Life, we praise you for your abundant love and generosity. Forgive us when we stray from you and try to provide for our own security. Draw us back to you and soften our hearts to do good, be generous, and share with our neighbors. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:6-19 (NRSV)
6 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment;
7 for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it;
8 but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.
9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.
12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
13 In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you
14 to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 which he will bring about at the right time--he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
16 It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
17 As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share,
19 thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.