1 Timothy 6
True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. (verse 6)
Can you have godliness without contentment? I doubt it. But you can go through the motions of godly living and be miserable.
Paul speaks of people who make a show of godliness, believing it is a way to become wealthy. He says their minds are corrupt and they have turned their backs on the truth. (6:5) That’s serious.
I believe first of all, Scripture tells us a truly godly person will have the mind of Christ, who didn’t cling to the riches of heaven, but instead chose to become a human being, to live and die for sinful man. (Philippians 2:5-11)
Jesus’ example of godly living was love, compassion, purity, hating sin, and doing everything to reveal the glory of God. (John 1:14)
A truly godly person wears, not his own righteousness, but the righteousness of Jesus through the cleansing blood of the Savior. (Ephesians 4:23-5:2)
A truly godly person learns to be content in every situation: wealth or poverty, health or illness, life or death. (Philippians 4:11-18)
After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. (1 Timothy 6:7)
Paul gives a warning to those who pretend to be godly in order to get some windfall, some check in the mail, or win the lottery:
But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. (6:9-10)
So, if not money, what is this great wealth Paul insists comes from true godliness?
Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.
You can’t buy those things even with a Trump or Musk bank account.
The great wealth from true godly living is the very Presence of God in this life and in eternity. It’s hope. It’s forgiveness. It’s Jesus!
“Well, that doesn’t pay the bills now, does it?” you might argue.
Why do you think God should pay your bills? Scripture has a lot to say about working and having a good work ethic. But that’s not what Paul is talking about here in his letter to Timothy. Paul is talking about people who want more than simply having their needs met.
Paul is talking about priorities. Why do you follow Jesus?
Paul is talking about what is truly important, eternally important. And Scripture tells us nothing is more important than your relationship with your Savior.
Are you in it for the money? There’s a health and wealth gospel that says you can have it, and have it abundantly if you go through the motions of godly living. But Paul is here to tell you that’s going to plunge you into ruin and destruction.
My prayer is that you will choose Jesus for who He is, not for your bank account. Choose Jesus for the riches of Himself, today and forever. There is absolutely nothing that compares to the wealth of godliness.