The first line of today’s passage tells us that wealth can make us selfish and proud. Because money has the ability to change you. The more money you have, the greater the temptation to be proud. You are more susceptible to looking down on people because you think highly of your own achievement. Why are there passages in the Bible warning us against loving money? God recognizes the human weakness for wealth and the Word of God serves as a command and a reminder to us all the dangers of placing our trust in money. There is no two ways about it. Trusting in money means that you have little or no trust in God to supply your needs. Jesus gave the perfect example by saying that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to gain eternal life (Matthew 19:24). Jesus recognizes that when a man places his trust in wealth, there is no place for God in his life.
Paul also warns that there in uncertainty in riches. One can be wealthy today and it can be gone tomorrow. For example, during 2008 financial crisis, Americans lost $9.8 trillion in wealth home values plummeted and their retirement accounts vaporized. One of the largest banks in America, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. When we placed our hope and trust in riches, that can happen to us. It affects our peace and joy. When we lose money, people around us will be affected by our negative emotions. So Paul says, place our trust in what is the only certainty in our life, our God. Our God is always faithful, and we can be certain that he is our provider and blesser.
To do good
Paul instructs people of means to be generous, to do good and be ready to share. Most of us are people of means in Brunei as compared to poverty stricken countries. Most of us are blessed. God wants us to use our wealth to bless others. It can be difficult for us to be generous toward others because we want to cover for all possible contingencies. We have to trust God to supply our needs and we must transform our mindset that all our possessions are actually a gift from God. We are just stewards of our possessions. Just as God was generous to us to give us grace that we did not deserve, we are to show generosity towards others as well as evidence of our overflowing gratitude to God for his gift of eternal life. If we are blessing others with our wealth, it means that we are rich towards God. This is the most valuable treasure one could have, a life that glorifies God. At the end of this life, we hope God would say to us, you have stored up treasures in heaven by your giving.
I leave this devotion with a quote for us to reflect from A.W. Tozer who said, “The goal of every believer is to enjoy the blessedness of possessing nothing.”
Lord, I thank you that you are a God who provides. Teach me to trust you instead of our possessions. Only in You, I can find true security, true riches and blessings. Holy Spirit, guide us and convict us to be generous to others. Help us be a salt and light so that others may see Christ in us. Amen.