Financial Contentment and Trust
By Kathryn Hoover
July 1, 2021
“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7).
This verse comes right in the middle of advice on wealth. Paul is saying in verse 3 that if someone doesn't consent to the words of Jesus Christ,
“He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (1 Timothy 6:4-5).
Gain can be more than money. It can be a position, a social standing, reputation, degrees, friends, or anything a person can strive to gain. But what is it worth if we can't take it with us?
A former counselor once asked me these questions:
Will it bring short-term pleasure and long-term suffering (hell)?
Will it bring short-term suffering and long-term pleasure (heaven)?
There are so many things we can strive for, that once we have them, they don't even satisfy...and then we are miserable and keep striving for more.
Paul goes on to say:
“But godliness with contentment is great gain” (v. 6). “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (v. 8). “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (v.9). “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (v.10).
What then instead?
“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (vv 11-12). “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (vv 17-19).
There is so much that we can put our trust in and it is a false security. For some people, the things they trusted in vanished and they are now left without their "security blanket/crutch".
I myself have felt this way about money, but financial hardship is causing me to humble myself before God and acknowledge that there's nothing I can do. The Lord either allows the debtors to be gracious, or He provides—which He did again twice within the last few days! I'm so grateful. I don't deserve it.
I want my trust to be in Christ for He is ultimately in control and holds the riches of the world in His hands. Why do I need to strive—only to be in misery and unfulfilled because I'm striving for the wrong things? When our focus is on eternity and wanting to please the Lord, who gave us the gift of salvation, then it will change our view of life. If it doesn't, there's something wrong.
Christ's kingdom is not of this world, so we should not be seeking to get comfortable here. We are only pilgrims passing through.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).
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