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The Rich Need To Be Spiritually Disciplined

1 Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (NIV)

Wealth gives power to those who hold it: even to believers in Jesus. Poor people trust the Lord more easily than the rich, who trust that their money will secure their ambitions and future. Also, wealth gives pride space to breed; and without a keen sense of spiritual discipline it will make even the strongest believer become arrogant. Although we know that money cannot bring a happy future, we often manage our finances as though that was true.
The humble believer will see things differently. We come into the world with nothing and leave with nothing (1 Timothy 6:7), everything we have on earth is not ours, and we hold it in trust. However God has promised to provide generously. He gives us all we need, and whatever He can trust us to enjoy while still giving Him glory. Our hope of the future cannot be based on what we have today because it may go tomorrow; however we can always be confident in the character of God whose love goes on for ever.
Rich people need this clear command to rethink their relationship between what they have and who they are in Christ. And church leaders must not shrink from the responsibility of instructing them to discipline themselves. However church leaders must not use the verse to extract money for their own causes, however useful they may be. The command is to embrace the spiritual discipline of holding their wealth in humility and thankfulness, giving glory to God as they enjoy what He has given to them. Sincere giving will only flow from humble hearts that are filled with the compassion of Christ; but arrogance lives in hard hearts which can neither enjoy God’s good gifts nor share them with others.

Gracious God. Thank You for Your kindness in giving me so much and for providing generously for my needs and enjoyment. Forgive me when I have trusted in my wealth or possessions, or when I have failed to give You the glory for everything I hold in trust. Please help me to learn the spiritual discipline of holding lightly onto whatever You have given to me, and cultivating a humble, thankful and generous spirit so that I can use Your resources to Your glory. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams