Thursday, January 30, 2014

for those who are rich...


Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable.  Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.
{1 Timothy 6:17}

I didn't really want this verse.  Wouldn't be my first pick...if I was picking.  I'm just saying.

But this isn't called 'First Friday Picks', right?  So tonight when I plopped that big book in my lap and spread the pages open - this is what I found.  And here's what it got me to thinking about...
If you are reading this post you are probably rich.  
You have access to a computer and 
you know how to read and 
you actually have a little bit of free time to do that reading.

That being the case...you have much more wealth and resources at your disposal than most of the world.

But our budget is tight, you may say and I would nod my head and say yes, I feel that way too.
But those figures wouldn't feel so constricting if we sold a car or moved into a smaller house or bought less clothes or drank less coffee...you know what I mean.

So if we can agree that we are all rich compared to the rest of the world...let's see what we can glean from this passage.

I notice that there's no condemnation for being rich.  OK...that's nice.  We aren't told that we should feel bad about our position.  Paul doesn't suggest that we should be given the guilt trip for having so much.  The warning is in how we live with our wealth...and that's the part that's so hard for me to stomach...
proud
feeling a deep sense of pleasure over an act, possession, quality, or relationship by which one measures one's self-worth

Another translation says 'haughty' which suggests arrogance and a sense of superiority.  Yuck.

If we are considered rich {which I am}, we are warned against one thing - being so proud and arrogant that we trust our wealth more than we trust our God.

That's not me.  No way.  Money is definitely not more important to me than God.

I believe it but do I live it?

When I wake up in the morning do I rely on God to give me a word I need to start the day off right or do I rely on my money to buy me the perfect latte that I just must have to get going?

When I have some free time in my days am I more likely to seek out ways to serve God by serving others or do I think of ways that I could use my money to pay someone else to serve me?

When the day has blown up in my face and the kids are crying and my patience is dwindling do I seek out the one who promises to single-handedly replace my anxieties with peace or do I depend on some diversion that my money can buy like t.v. or ice cream...or maybe both?!

With every decision of my day do I focus more on what my money can buy or on what Jesus has already bought?

Where am I really placing my trust and my hope?

Are the 'things' around me creating such a false sense of security and comfort that I am blind to my dependence on them?  How can I live surrounded by worldly wealth and not let it distract me from the eternal riches that are being held out for me every single day?

OK...that's 15 minutes so the writing must stop...but I have a feeling these questions will continue...what about you?

Check out all the 'First Friday Finds' here.