Thursday, March 20, 2008

Freedom Finances: contentment

A cold chill crept through Timothy as he read the letter. He’d expected encouragement and direction but this…..

But if it's only money these leaders are after, they'll self-destruct in no time[1],” Paul had written.

Timothy understood that he couldn’t allow worship of money, but did Paul expect him to alienate these leaders? They came, put money in the offering plate, helped finance the ministries, helped pay his salary.

What did Paul want him to say?

“If we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that's enough,[2]” Paul wrote.

That’s enough? What about the TV and microwave? Those are basics, right? And then the second car and the health club membership and the pizza when I’m too tired to cook.

And then the kids need Ipods and cell phones.

How could bread and shoes be enough?

Don’t let legalism creep in here. Paul wasn’t attacking 20th century way of life, but he did attack discontentment.

As we study financial freedom, this is the foundation. Can we be content with less? Can we resist the manipulation of advertising?

When discontentment wafts into our lives, do we shop or pray?

Your priorities show up in your checkbook – or credit card bill, in our culture.

The path to financial freedom starts with contentment. Jesus promised to provide for our daily bread. And Paul says if we have bread and shoes, we’re good to go.

“Lust for money brings trouble,[3]” Paul advised Timothy, who was trying to stay afloat among the wealth of Ephesus.

Trouble today is spelled D-E-B-T.

“But you…: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life— a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith.”

1 Tim 6:11-12

[1] 1 Tim 6:9

[2] 1 Tim 6:8

[3] 1 Tim 6:10


Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

much love,

Debbie said...

I'm looking forward to reading more on your financial series, especially as we take our journey to financial freedom ourselves. Jonathan and I were talking about it on our drive to Columbia yesterday and dang, we regret the mismanagement of our money in the past. It's funny, now that we've actually following a budget, are using cash and not overspending, it feels as if we got a raise, though in reality it's always been there. I guess it has always controlled us and we've never managed it.