September 27

1 Timothy 6:13-19

“As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty– They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share…” vss. 17a, 18 

According to the gospels Jesus once told a rich young man that he should sell his possessions and give to the poor–and then come follow him. It’s a text that is familiar, but not one that sparks much of a response when used in a sermon. Most of us have learned to ignore scriptural guidance that goes against our natural inclinations. This letter to Timothy recommends a slightly different pastoral approach. The writer assumes that there will be wealthy folks among the followers of Jesus, and that’s pretty much the way it is among us too. While by basic standards most people in American congregations are rich, some of them have managed to hit the jackpot! They have wealth beyond their dreams! Timothy is advised to command such persons to trust in God rather than in money, and not to be haughty. Operating from a position of humility they are to cultivate a spirit of generosity, do good works, and be ready to share. It’s good advice! What a blessing it can be when people of means use their wealth to tackle the inequities and needs of our world! It’s not a common response to be sure–many such persons have inflated egos and prefer to flaunt their riches–but some do, and their gifts are multiplied in magnificent ways.

Thought for the Day: What motivates a rich person to be generous?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s