"For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:10-12
Paul tells us in previous verses godliness when accompanied with contentment is great gain. He tells us we brought nothing into the world, and we will be taking nothing out. We are told if we have food and covering we should be content. Then he warns, but those who live to get rich fall into temptation and snares and many harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
I have observed this first hand, and I am sure many of you have too. Yet the deceitful lust of riches and prosperity have been held up as the American dream for younger generations way to long. We have gotten away from what the Word of God says, and sacrificed the eternal for the temporal which often includes the family.
I have lived with and I have lived without, and I know when I had to depend on the Lord for provision my faith increased as I experienced His faithfulness. He wants to prosper His children so that we might be His hands and feet in providing for others. He told us it is more blessed to give than to receive, and you will find this to be true if we try it. When we are faithful in the little things He will allow us to be faithful in bigger things. When I was young I only had little to give, but I learned from scripture how important it was to tithe and honor God with the first fruits in my life whether financial, or my time, He must have first place in all things. I learned as long as I was in obedience to what I knew of His Word I was safe. Being a young woman living on their own was a scary place to be financially, but I learned it didn’t have to be as I tested the Lord concerning His promises.
I was very fortunate not growing up in a wealthy family that put a lot of emphasis on financial success. I never felt money or things would determine my happiness. Somehow I understood it was a world I didn’t want to be a part of. I learned at an early age the things I truly loved were free, and felt the love of the Father who embellished me with gifts all around me as far as my eyes could see!
I grew up in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Life and people weren’t as focused on being rich and famous as much as providing for their family. Anyway, that was true in my home. We certainly didn’t lack for essentials, but we learned good work ethics in order to survive as a big family. I was taught to be thankful for what I had, which included a little farm consisting of a little more than 30 acres, but it seemed more than enough to make us happy. I loved all the animals we cared for. The highlight of my childhood was the horses we owned. Two in particular, Goldie, a stunning golden palomino, my Daddy’s horse, and Victor, who was her first colt and belonged to me. We raised them from colts. Daddy broke Goldie, and I broke Victor. We kept both till they died. I never realized how blessed I was to grow up as I did until I was older. I thought everyone was reared as I was. Needless to say I suffered a lot, because I wasn’t wise to the ways of the world. My world was simple as a child spending most of my time outdoors protected from the world.
At this season in life it grieves me deeply to see parents who can’t seem to have contentment no matter how much they have. This is what we are teaching our children by how we spend our time. Whatever you give the most time to is who or what you have made your god. If I engage in conversation with most people for fifteen minutes I can tell you what matters most in their life, because it will come out of their mouth. The Bible tells us out of the mouth speaks what is in the heart. When was the last time you shared your relationship with Christ with your family or friends? We are usually discussing our jobs, the weather, politics, gossip, etc. but very seldom anything that has to do with eternity which is something we all have in common, rich or poor, red, black white or orange! We no longer are comfortable with honest conversations. Most communication is online, with no depth, and mostly narcissistic ying yang, and we wonder why our young ones are lost and confused.
Our gross love of money is the root of all sorts of evil – not money itself. It can be used for good, or for bad. The Bible is not outdated. It needs nothing added or taken away. It is still the best education you can give your child as it was when we began our nation. It encourages contentment with what you have. It doesn’t mean not to strive to be better, or even have more, but if you have been content with the small things you may find yourself less content with more. The flesh is never satisfied. It will always scream for more.
It clearly warns us those who have longed for riches have wandered from the faith. It wasn’t overnight, but a gradual enticement, always requiring a little more, another promotion, another degree etc. The end results are that they have pierced themselves and their families with many griefs.
Paul is writing to his young son Timothy in the faith. I pray fathers will heed his instructions themselves and lead the young sons in their home in God’s ways. Paul says to flee from the enticements, men of God! He then tells us what to pursue. Let’s not just pass over his instruction. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Then we are told to fight the good fight of faith. It is much more worth fighting for than the riches of this world that are left behind. Then he tells us to take hold of the eternal life to which we all have been called to – all!
However, you must make that choice for yourself every moment you are still breathing air. If you have never chosen to become a follower of Jesus, who and what are you following? How is that working for you? Have you found peace and contentment? What is the state of your family at this moment? Pick up a Bible and read it for yourself. Seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him.
Perhaps you are backslidden. He once was the Lord of your life, but you just grew out of your faith after being raised in a godly home. He is no longer the Lord of your life. Repent, return to the God of your childhood. You certainly need him more as a man than you ever did as a child. We can never outgrow our dependence on His love and His Word. We need His guidance no matter how smart we think we are.
The older I get the more dependent I become on Him I often hear people say. For myself, reflecting on my life, I have desperately needed Him as much as I do now in every season of life. Only He can bring me peace and contentment. No one can take His place in my life. Not even my husband and children. One thing I know to be true; I can live without people, but I cannot live without my God. No one can fill my cup as He can. I hope that is true for you also. If not it can be. He has no favorites. You can have all of Him you earnestly desire. Jesus is the Living Water; You will thirst no more. He is the Bread of Life; You will hunger no more. Fight the good fight. Take hold of eternal life, and impart it to your children.
In His love.
Some old favorite photos of my father, who I loved and learned much from including hard work and being content with what we had, and knowing eternity was more important than the things of the world.
The first photo is Daddy standing on Brownie, a thoroughbred racehorse who was the mother of Goldie mentioned earlier.
Next is one of Daddy’s first cars he was obviously proud of.
Lastly is Daddy sitting on Sparkle, another one of Goldie’s colts. He was a beauty!