If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
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. 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. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
... 1 Timothy
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* NOTES *
We should honor God and center our desires on him ("godliness," see Matthew 6:33), and we should be content with what God is doing in our lives (see Philippians 4:11-13).
overwhelming evidence to the contrary, most people still believe that
money brings happiness. Rich people craving greater riches can be caught
in an endless cycle that only ends in ruin and destruction. How can you
keep away from the love of money? Paul gives us some guidelines: (1)
realize that one day riches will all be gone (6:7-17); (2) be content with
what you have (6:8); (3) monitor what you are willing to do to get more
money (6:9-10); (4) love people more than money (6:11); (5) freely share
what you have with others (6:18).
It is often helpful to distinguish between needs and wants. We may have all we need to live but let ourselves become anxious and discontented over what we merely want. Like Paul, we can choose to be content without having all that we want. The only alternative is to be a slave to our desires.
Greed leads to all kinds of evil: marriage problems, robbery, blowups in partnerships. To master greed, you must control it at its root. Get rid of the desire to be rich.
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