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Monday, June 28, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: 1 Timothy 6

Over the decade or so there has been an interesting phenomenon that has swept through lots of non-denominational and mega-churches. Many of these faith communities have embraced something called the Gospel of Prosperity. What the phrase means is that they believe that if you are in right relationship with God, you will be blessed financially and materially.

I can sure understand how such an approach would be seductive to some people – at least from a human perspective. That’s because it sounds like a two-fer deal. Not only do you get to wallow in personal riches, you get to feel good because you are told, “God wants it that way.” Wahoo!!!

In case you can’t tell, this approach pushes my buttons like no other theological approach on the planet because it is counter-intuitive to much of what I believe Jesus represents. Even today’s reading presents a challenge to such an approach when the author wrote: “Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.”

“So are you suggesting that God wants us to be dirt poor?!” might come a response from some quarters.

Nope. In fact there is a kind of riches that I believe God would want us to pursue. That kind of riches happens to be spelled out in today’s reading from 1 Timothy. In that passage the author wrote: “A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God.”

What a richness that scenario represents – simply being yourself before God. That sounds much better than a Lamborghini to me!

Today I would encourage you to explore your view of money. Is it something you see as a reward for being a faithful person; is it something you need to survive; is it tool that allows you to help others; or is it something else for you?

Til next time…

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