Scott LaPierre Ministries
Command Those Who Are Rich in this Present World to…(1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Paul chooses to command those who are rich in this present world to do certain things, versus condemn them for being rich (1 Timothy 6:17-19). There’s nothing wrong with being rich, but rich people do receive special instructions. Read or listen to this chapter from Your Finances God’s Way to see what God says to rich people.
Table of ContentsTHE RICH HAVE GREATER ACCOUNTABILITYFirst, Command Those Who Are Rich in this Present World to Be Humble (Versus Proud)Second, Command Those Who Are Rich in this Present World to Trust God (Versus Their Riches)Third, Command Those Who Are Rich in this Present World to Do Good Works (Versus Only Give)Fourth, Command Those Who Are Rich in this Present World to Give Generously (Versus Stingily)Give Generously Because You Can’t Take It with You Give Generously to Send Wealth AheadGenerously Because You Enjoy Riches for Only a Short TimeA BETTER APPROACH TO GIVING
People don’t become doctors the day they decide they want to pursue a medical career. The decision must be made years earlier, and they must make many sacrifices to endure through an internship and residency. Similarly, if people want to be lawyers, they don’t wake up one day and say, “I’m going to be a lawyer,” and then start trying cases. The decision to become a lawyer must be made well before, and it involves years of commitment before taking on clients.
You might already have an IRA because you are planning for the golden years. You don’t wake up when you’re older and say, “Let me start a retirement plan.” The decision is made years earlier so you are prepared when you reach retirement. Perhaps you are saving for your children’s education. You don’t attend their high school graduation and say, “I’d better put something aside to pay for their college.” The decision must be made long in advance.
The lesson is that knowledge of the future determines our behavior in the present. When we know what we desire in the future, we will make decisions to reach those goals in the present.
This has great application for us as stewards. If we want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant,” we don’t wait until the end of our lives to start being faithful. We make the decision to be faithful starting now. Today! The verses we will examine next can help put us on the right path.
THE RICH HAVE GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY
First Timothy 6 addresses two groups. The first group, “who desire to be rich” and have a “love of money,” are in verses 9 and 10, and we talked about them in chapter 4. The second group is “those who are rich in this present age” in verses 17 through 19, whom we will discuss in this chapter.
For now, it is important to notice Paul doesn’t criticize the second group, who is rich, but as we know from chapter 4, he criticizes the first group, who desires to be rich. This seems backward! We would expect Paul to criticize the first group, who is rich, while pitying the second group, who is not rich. Why is it this way? Because, as we also discussed, money is amoral. The problem is not being rich. The problem is a love of money, or a strong desire to be rich.
But even though being rich isn’t bad, it does mean having a greater accountability before God. Stewardship is more difficult with more money because there is more to steward. So, Paul has special instructions for rich people:
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
If the parable of the rich fool tells rich people what not to do, these verses tell rich people what to do. Now, maybe you are thinking something like, Oh, I’m not rich,