“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus.., to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:9-13a,14-19
The Christian’s call is a great dichotomy against the unbeliever’s modus operandi. We all need and use things, but differently and for different ends. The charge to those who believe is to know and live out the distinction, setting our hope on God and not things of this world. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Ours is a trust and confidence in the invisible, not the visible, that make their way into every desire and endeavor.
Like rays of the early sun, a Christ-mindset pierces the flesh and its natural tendencies with supernatural light. It penetrates the alluring charms of this world to reason clearly and see through their vain promises. It discerns the harm and destructiveness of disordered affections, and exposes hidden but coddled idolatry.
The cravings of this world are varied and strong, and pursuing righteousness and godliness contradicts their temptations in every way. This is a fight we must take up with boldness. Our Lord holds out His hope of eternal life for our trust, and His stated dominion to give us courage. He supplies the riches we need, including His divine nature, to do good and the right thing. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Where are we most tempted to flow with the world? Does a perceived ease or anticipated worldly esteem draw our eyes to riches? Have we allowed greed to wield its way into untoward business practices or favoritism with others? Has any measure of earthly success cloaked us with haughtiness or snobbery? May we recognize and flee empty pangs to take hold of what is truly life!
Father, keep me living as one set apart, not for my own interest but for Your honor and esteem.