Going Deeper with the Message:
Money’s False Hope
by: Ben Biles
Few of us think of ourselves as rich because we know a lot of people who are richer than we are. Yet, on Sunday, Pastor Tim reminded us that the average income in an American household is enough to be counted in the top 1% of the richest people in the world. He then pointed us to heed Paul’s words to Timothy, “Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). The truth is that we are the “rich in the present age” and need to be careful of where we place our hope.
Paul’s point here is that wealth is a foolish thing to hope in, for it can only offer a false sense of security. It is useful in a lot of ways, but it can’t save you from heartbreak, loneliness, depression, anxiety, or self-doubt. It definitely can’t save you from the sin and death that plague us all. Money is completely apathetic to your situation and couldn’t care less if you succeed or fail. And yet, the problem is that the more money you have, the more likely you are prone to trust in its power. Though we might not be conscious of it, our tendency is to hope in the security and power that money seems to provide. We can tell where our hope lies for when our bank accounts drop, our anxieties rise.
Paul instead encourages us to hope in God who graciously and lovingly gives us all that we need. Not only does hoping in God take away the need to stress over finances, but it places our focus in building our relationship with our loving Creator as well as with those around us. We are able to enjoy what God gives to us in the present moment and use it to invest in the eternal as we turn our focus off ourselves and on to loving those around us. This new focus changes everything and brings extraordinary blessing to those who think this way.
I’ve found that the richest man is not the one with the most wealth, but the one most loved by his family, friends, and community. When we treat our wealth as a means to an end, and not an end itself, we are able to bless others in a way that impacts eternity. Believers that understand this prosper in far greater ways than money could ever hope to provide. So, when you’re worried or stressed or despairing, or whatever situation you find yourself in, place your hope in God instead of money.