Someone said, ‘’You will never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.’’
I heard a young woman give a testimony on one occasion. She was a Christian, but she said that she had been through a period in life when she felt ‘’so discontented’’. Then, in reading her Bible, these words hit her (6): ‘’But godliness with contentment is great gain.’’ (6). They brought perspective and changed everything in her outlook.
What lies at the back of this passage is the lust for money; the love of money. False teaching and money-grabbing tend to go together. When you see greed for monetary gain in a leader/preacher it should set off alarm bells in your head. Be wary. If you are in a position of leadership in the church, and you sense such desires growing in your heart, that is an ‘eye’ to be gouged out and a ‘hand’ to be cut off (Matthew 5:29, 30). Don’t allow such longings to stay. Go to war against them. They may well destroy you if you let them stay. So, as the Sergeant used to say in ‘Hill Street Blues’: ‘’Do it to them before they do it to you.’’
Paul says there’s a standard of teaching by which you can ‘measure’ all teaching, and anything out of true should not be tolerated. In his day he knew of false teachers ‘’who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.’’ (5; Hebrews 13:5). Again, the problem here is the focus on money and the greed for it. The tenth verse has been misquoted as ‘’The love of money is the root of all evil.’’ It isn’t. But it is a serious problem. It leads to bad places. It can lead your heart away from Jesus so that your devotion is given to an idol that will bitterly disappoint (10). You can’t take it with you (7). We should be content with the basics of life (8). God may bless us with more, but it is wise, and right, to cultivate thankful, contented hearts. ‘’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…Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.’’ The Message.
False teaching has to be dealt with. It is like a serious infection; a contagion that will spread: ‘’If you have leaders who teach otherwise, who refuse the solid words of our Master Jesus and this godly instruction, tag them for what they are: ignorant windbags who infect the air with germs of envy, controversy, bad-mouthing, suspicious rumours. Eventually there’s an epidemic of back-stabbing, and truth is bit a distant memory. They think religion is a way to make a fast buck.’’ The Message.
A well-known preacher was asked to speak at a meeting in the Stock Exchange in London. He said he wanted to entitle his talk: ‘’You can’t take it with you, and if you could it would burn!’’
Prayer: Lord, keep my heart free from the love of money