Servants and masters
It should not be surprising how accurate and apt biblical teaching is, yet I still somehow marvel at the fact that a book written hundreds of thousands years ago is so in touch with this modern world. I guess this goes to show that God really had us in mind when he passed down his Word.
This might be overly dramatic, but I’ve just started a new internship. Most of the people at the firm are decent, (although the big boss is rather particular about things), but I just cannot seem to get along with the receptionist, who is keen to micro-manage every aspect of my tasks – from calling me 3-4 times to check on my status when I stepped out to take a delivery – to asking me every hour which tasks I’m working on and instructing me to ask for more work if it seems as though I don’t have enough on my plate. After a looong working week, I read 1 Timothy 6:1 ,which states:
All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.
This verse reminded me to demonstrate godly behaviour, no matter my circumstances. Instead of rebelling against work, or continually complaining and bad-mouthing the people I don’t get along with, I am to give God honour by continually serving him and demonstrating my faith to those around me, including my co-workers.
False teachers and the love of money
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it (verse 6).
In this chapter, Paul again emphasizes the danger of a love for money, and stresses the problem of false teachings. As Christians, we are to be content because our needs are met by Christ. I have a cool home (air-con is a must in 40-degree Australian summer), a comfortable bed, delicious home-cooked meals, a good church, and wonderful friends to confide in and spend my time with.
Paul’s take home message is that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It results in “an unhealthy interest in controversies” and quarrels that result in “strife, envy, malicious talk and evil suspicions.”
The final charge
Paul concludes his letter with one final challenge to Timothy and his church. The main points of this charge are:
- Turn away from godless chatter and false teachings (Verse 20)
- To flee from all things evil, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith (Verse 11)
- Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant, but to put their hope in God and to be generous and willing to share (Verse 18)
This is a lot to take in. It almost seems as though Paul as squeezed in as much teaching in the final charge as he has throughout the rest of 1 Timothy!
Fleeing from all things evil means focusing on God, turning away from all sin: envy, slander, gossip, corruption, lying, immoral activities, drunkenness, and hatred, and from staying guarded against all temptations.
To have internet access, a decent standard of living, to never thirst for water or hunger food, and to be able to read and write this blog already means that I am in the richest 3% of this world’s population. And chances are that if you’re reading this, you are to. In what ways can I be generous in serving the church? Aside from making sure I give my tithes of 10%, I must be willing to share not only the gospel, but my time and financial resources with the less fortunate.
I hope I can take up this challenge and remain Christ-centred.