Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 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; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. As for those who in the 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 really is life. ~ I Timothy 6:6-19
We say it a lot: money is the root of all evil. I know you've heard it.
But that's not how the saying goes. It is the love of money that's the root of all evil. We know that money can and does do good when used in generous ways. Paul here even expounds on those ways: to be rich in good works, to be generous, to share.
In other words, not to make money the focus, but instead the good that can be done with it.
Money is as much the root of all evil as it ever way. We live in an age when the top 1% of earners make 20 times more than the bottom 90% of earners and own more wealth than the bottom 90% combined. And the income growth of those top earners far exceeds that of the the middle and lower earners.
The typical US elected representative makes 9% more than the average American voter.
I'm sure we all know someone or love someone or know of someone who works for a corporation when layoffs have become the norm even while CEO salaries have skyrocketed.
Poverty rates have only grown worse during the pandemic.
And yet money continues to the driver of policy in this country. It continues to be the life goal of so much - to the detriment of much of society and the environment.
But it isn't the life that truly is life, as Paul says.
The life that truly is life is one of generosity, sharing, community, relationship, and love - real love.
May you find you life truly rich this day in all the ways that matter.
Holy One, help me to love you and your people above all: sharing what I have and holding on tightly to the true life you offer. Amen