"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." - 1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NIV)
I have been blessed in this life. God has provided me with a home, food, clothes, vehicles, furniture - all of the creature comforts - yet I seem to only be able to focus on what I don't have. I'm not content because I don't see myself as being rich, at least not by the world's standards. To be rich in this world is having money to burn. To be out of debt and not have to worry about bills coming in. To travel wherever and whenever I want. To buy whatever I want. To live in a big house. To wear fancy clothes. To eat in nice restaurants and not have to cook. But, according to www.globalrichlist.com, I'm in the top 4.62% of the world's richest people!! What?! I'm richer than 95% of the rest of the world?! Really?!
However, the world's standard of being rich is not the standard by which God says I'm rich. Paul is telling Timothy here that, if he has food and clothing, he considers himself rich. What would Paul think of me if he saw all the "stuff" I have and hear me still worry about money and being rich in this world? He'd probably tell me to get my perspective straight. He told Timothy, "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction." (1 Timothy 6:9 NIV). Paul also told Timothy to, "Command those who are rich in this present world (that would be me; I'm in the top 5% aren't I?!) 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." (1 Timothy 6:17 NIV). God wants me to be content with what He has given me. He wants me to put my hope and my faith in Him, not in the riches of this world, and know that He will provide for me all that I need and even the things I desire!! If Paul can find contentment just in being fed and clothed, surely I can find contentment in all that I have!!
Solomon had the right attitude and perspective about being rich. In Proverbs 30:7-9 (NIV), he said the following: "Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown You and say, 'Who is the Lord?'. Or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God." This is the perspective I desire to have when it comes to being rich. God, provide for me what I need for today.
I desire to be rich by God's standards. I want to be rich in faith, rich in mercy and grace, rich in love, rich in humility, rich in obedience, rich in contentment, rich in worship, rich in Jesus. These are the riches that matter; that build up my treasure in Heaven. That is where my real prosperity lies. I want to be rich....in God!!
"Our ultimate aim in life is not to be healthy, wealthy, prosperous, or problem free. Our ultimate aim in life is to bring glory to God." - Anne Graham Lotz
Dear Heavenly Father, I am rich by the world's standards but I desire to be rich by Yours. Teach me to be content with all that You have provided for me. You have blessed me with so much. Help me to see how wealthy I really am in You. In Jesus' name, Amen.