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Miserable Christian

Miserable Christian

1 Timothy 6:17 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.

I must confess, that I have always been a little suspicious that God is after my stuff. I have always had this concern that if I truly followed God, that like Paul, I would become a wandering nomad, homeless and penniless, relying on the generosity of others for food and shelter. I worry that Jesus will command me, like the rich young ruler, to give away everything. I like my stuff and deep down, I think God is going to take it all away if I completely surrender to Him.

This attitude betrays my persistent and unhealthy attachment to my stuff. Paul, in today’s passage, did not say that possessions and wealth were bad, but rather, that there is a right and a wrong attitude towards them. If my purpose, hope and meaning rest in my things, I have perverted my relationship to those things. When my faith is in my possessions, I make an idol of them and relegate God to second string.

If, however, I keep God above all, I can have a right attitude towards my stuff, allowing me to enjoy life. It is my own defective love of things that causes me to think that God wants me to be a miserable Christian. God wants me to know the life, joy and peace that comes from putting Him above all. I am not promised earthly riches if I follow God, but I will enjoy every good thing He has given me when I let Him be my God.

It is when I put my faith in my things, pursuing them above all, that I get it backwards, causing destruction. Material things can never support the weight of my faith and will always collapse into misery. If I want to know and enjoy life, I must continually pursue God above all.

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