As for those who in this present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that is really life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
This week, all around the country people will pause, even if it’s just briefly, and thank God for what they have. It will be especially striking to those of us who have not experienced loss or extreme hardship while navigating the pandemic. This passage from Timothy reminds me that as a follower of Jesus, my task each day is to give thanks for what God has provided.
Notice that Paul doesn’t suggest that those “who are rich in this present age” get rid of all their possessions. Paul doesn’t call on those who are “rich in this present age” to not enjoy what they have.
Is it possible God may call on us to do this? Yes. Remember, Jesus saw how the rich man made an idol out of money and called on him to sell everything he had, give his money away, and follow Jesus.
But assuming God isn’t calling you to do that right now, the point is that what we have been given is to be handled with care and treated with respect. Remember, if you are a follower of Jesus, what you have been given has been given not because you deserve it, not because you earned it, and not because you were owed it. We are called to enjoy what we’ve been given, but more importantly we are called to remember who gave it. To embody the qualities of the giver and participate in God’s work in the world.
Throughout the rest of this week, let us work to demonstrate generosity, extend grace, and live with awareness that the greatest gift that one can be given is that of eternal life.