The Danger of Supposing that Gain is Godliness

Would it be an understatement to say that we are incredibly blessed?  We have so much, don’t we?  Most of us in this part of the world have never lacked for anything. We have nice homes filled with nice things.  Actually, it would be more accurate to say that we have expensive homes filled with expensive things. We can add to that our expensive cars, motorcycles, boats, and recreational vehicles. On top of that, we have non-stop entertainment in the form of televisions, computers, gaming devices, and cell phones. And, on top of that, we have incredible food, don’t we? Our “gain” is pretty obvious.

There is always a danger in believing that all is well because of my “gain.” The Apostle Paul warned us of the danger of “supposing that gain is godliness”  (1 Timothy 6:5).  When does gain become ungodliness?  When does gain do damage to me personally and spiritually? Here are three answers:

  1. When gain results in a weakening of my faith and not an increase in spiritual growth. 

“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil (specifically, these evils listed above): which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith . . .” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).  This is always a danger for those of us who are so very blessed. We embrace foolish and hurtful things in our desire for more and we end up drowning in ruin and destruction. Many are drowning in debt. Many parents spend so much time making money that they end up losing their children. Some lose their marriage. Others stay together, but aren’t happy.  In our blessings, we can even fail to teach our children important disciplines like character and industriousness. God gives us blessings so that our faith can increase and so we can grow spiritually!  

  1. When gain results in my trusting in my riches and not in God.

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, not trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).  The more we have, the less we pray. The more we have, the less we enjoy.  The more we have, the greater our chances of spiritual failure.  God does give us richly all things to enjoy. Our blessings really are from Him! He is a good and gracious God and He is also a generous one.  Because of our sin nature, however, we are always tempted to trust in our “gain” and not in our God!  Do you have a grateful heart? Does your children?  How often does your family express gratitude? Do you pray about all of your needs? Do you trust God and serve Him and love Him and live for Him?  God gives us blessings so that we will love Him and trust in Him.

  1. When my gain results in my doing more for myself and less for the kingdom of God.  

“Charge them that are rich in this world . . . that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).  Those of us who have indoor plumbing and air conditioning and clean “running” water and toilet paper and an abundance of food are “rich in this world.” We are blessed and it is a wonderful and good thing — IF we use our resources to raise our families to live for Christ and the Gospel and IF we use our resources to encourage and be a blessing to others and IF we use our resources to advance the kingdom of God. God has been so good to us so that we can do more for Him!

How have you used your resources to advance Christianity and the Cause of Christ? How could you do so? Do you have a grateful and contented heart?  Here is how Paul said it:

“But Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Thanks for reading.

Your sincere friend,

Dave Young

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