Friday, July 11, 2014

1 Timothy 6:10-12a: Faith's Fight Finds Peace

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.”
(1 Timothy 6:10-12a)

The above six attributes of faith suggested to Timothy by Paul are antidotes to anything immoral or unethical in the world. Money, if we really look at its core and beyond the necessities for which it provides, is corruptive. It can alter our natures like nothing else. For with money comes power -- power to buy, power to influence, power to become our own god and the god of others. Money, therefore, can lead us to idolatry. We seek it so vehemently because of its power and ability to fill us. But this "filling" is only temporary, and once we are empty, we require more. Then the more we seek, the more we need. An unhealthy pursuit of money is like an addictive drug that rots our soul and distracts us from things of God. While delivering His sermon on the mount, for example, Jesus says in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Paul, moreover, gives Timothy much needed advice, especially for an influential, up-and-coming bishop of the Church. Paul says, “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.” 
Paul’s message is as true today as it was in the first century, for we, too, must avoid an over-zealous pursuit of money at the expense of following the gospel. When we harness “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness,” like Timothy, we will fight the good fight of faith.  Loving God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves truly is a victory worth winning.