SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Paul speaks of slaves, but we can apply the teaching to our jobs, or to any time we work under someone. He says Christians should do their best so as to bring honor to God's name.
- In verses 6-10 we learn that we can be content in whatever financial situation we find ourselves. If we have a relationship with God we have everything we really need.
- Paul writes that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." Many misquote this verse and say money is the root of "all" evil. Paul doesn't say that. He doesn't even say money is evil, but that the love of money can easily lead a person towards evil. Loving money can lead a person from worshipping God to "wander from the faith" and end up worshipping money.
- Paul tells Timothy to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- If we have a relationship with God we have everything we really need. This means that we don't have to pursue riches. It also means that we need to be very careful about our attitude towards money. Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Our money (including our attitude about money) and our hearts are directly connected. If we give our hearts to money, our hearts will drift from God.
- Like Timothy we need to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What is your attitude towards money? Does money compete with God for your worship? To determine the truth we can obviously examine our thoughts and emotions about money. But another way to get clarity on this is by examining our checkbook. What do you spend your money on? How much of it is spent on you, and how much is devoted to God and His Kingdom? Throughout the Bible God commands us to give back to Him (through our church) 10% of all the money we take in. Are you obeying God in this? Or are you refusing Him? And if you're refusing Him, what does it say about the priority you give to money in your life? (And what will you do about that?)
- In your life, are you pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness? How would your pursuit of these godly character traits compare with your pursuit of money and material possessions? Which of these traits do you probably need to pursue the most at this point?