Listen to President Tim Russell and Pastor Drew Gysi explore this topic here.
Do you love money too much? Sure, our minds might say one thing, but our actions may say another. Today we will be looking at two sections of 1 Timothy Chapter 6, where first we will see 4 signs you may be loving money too much, and second, the cure to this disease that invades the Believers hearts and minds.
1 Timothy 6:9-10
9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
Context: False teachers were teaching that Godliness is a means of financial gain.
“constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain (V. 5)
They were teaching these things because they loved money. They loved money so much they were using the religious system to manipulate people for their own personal financial gain. So let’s break down the text that we just read, which is only part of Chapter 6 that we will be looking at today.
4 Signs You May Love Money Too Much
1. Wealth becomes your life’s pursuit (v. 9a)
- Loving money (and what it affords) creates a desire to be rich (v. 9a)
- You are never content, you never have enough. You are characterized by greed/bank accounts. You are driven for more money and things. You just don’t want to have a big bank account, but you also want others to see that you have wealth!
- Another good word would be you are “obsessed” with money and wealth. You may be dreaming of living beyond your means, or you are actually doing it! You go from having money to showing off with your money!
2. Your desire for ‘more’ becomes’ life-controlling (v. 8-9b)
- Vs 8 talks about contentment being key to the Christian life. When we love money too much, we are not content with what we have… with what God has provide. We want more and more. We want bigger and better. We want newer and faster.
- Loving money causes you to sin (v. 9b) You are falling into snares, traps, destruction.
3. You are wandering from God (v. 10)
- Loving money drives you away from God (v10). You’ve forgotten the source of all wealth.
- When things go wrong, your mind goes immediately to money rather than God.
- “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also… No one can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:21, 24).
4. Your pursuit of money brings about self-induced pain (and possibly your family too)
- “The love of money is a sinful root problem that bears bitter fruit. It’s not just problems with your bank account. There may be problems with relationships (family or friends). Problems may arise with your health because of the stress of obsessively pursuing wealth” (Crosswalk).
- Relationships can suffer and even can be damaged, possibly beyond repair.
- Health issues are prevalent to those that are driven for that “one more dollar” (John D. Rockefeller)
Are you battling with, or drawling close to just one of the above four signs? If so, be forewarned! If you do not take action on that one area, the other three will be crouching at your door, awaiting your allegiance toward money and pulling you away from God!
Our second section of Scripture is from the same chapter, and we will be focusing on verses 11 and 17-18 which says:
11: But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
17-18: As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share…
The Cure for Loving Money
How can we cure and defend against the love of money?
1. Flee (run away) from what is destroying you (11a)
- The Biblical sense of this word is: to run, move away from quickly, so as to escape (Logos Bible Sense for Words). This is a difficult concept for us sinners to understand (proverbs 26:11 – “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.”). We often like returning to our sin, even though it causes us great pain. But the Bible says to flee…RUN AWAY FROM… (seek safety & escape from immediate danger) from these things. What is that danger? What we listed in the first section: the signs of loving money!
2. Pursue (11b):
- This word “pursue” in the original language has this understanding: to do something with intense effort and with definite purpose or goal. Clearly this “pursuing” is not casual or lackadaisical. It is intentional and driven, focused on an outcome or direction!
- So, what is one to pursue according to the text?
- It is interesting that these qualities are the antithesis of desiring to be rich loving money. The DESIRE for riches are competing against these 6 qualities of a Believer in Christ!
3. Adjust your attitude (v17 – not to be arrogant/haughty)
- This is an “imperative,” a command! YOU NEED TO DO THIS! Not just for this first point in vs. 17, but all the successive points. In plain vernacular, Paul is stating here to change your attitude towards money and do it now.
4. Transfer trust (v17 – hope in their riches)
- Money is here today, and can be gone tomorrow. But, God is ever present! Be reminded that God is your generous provider.
5. Be generous (v18)
- Being generous with your money and resources is a game-changer. It changes one from hoarding to releasing! Generosity changes the heart and mind!
- Paul, in vs. 18 is stating that one of the courses of correction away from loving money is to do good with your wealth (not hoarding it). Share, share and then share some more! Paul here is not just speaking about a one-time sharing, but a continuous, over-the-top sharing.
Of the four things that Paul lists, is one, or more than one of these areas that can describe your heart/mind?:
- The desire to be rich (v. 9a)
- Getting hooked into new temptations (v. 9b)
- Possibly wandering away from God (v. 10)
- And possibly the pain you are dealing with could be stemmed from you and your choices…for it is self-induced pain .
If that is the case, without a course correction, the other areas that Paul listed in vv 9-10 could come in and grow as a cancer in your life! But, one good thing is we are not left without a “prescription” to bring about healing and move away from the destruction of loving money and possessions. Remember, possessions are not just what you have, it is what HAS YOU! (they possess you).
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