22 September 2018

1 Timothy 6:11-16

But as for you … shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (v. 11)

Psalm: Psalm 143:1-11



The previous section of this letter has considered the kind of teaching that the people of God need to hear and has addressed the issue of being content and satisfied with what we already possess rather than striving after more and more possessions. The writer now declares that love of money (rather than money itself) is the root of all evil. This is a bold assertion.

The writer invites Timothy, a man of God, to shun pursuit of more money and possessions and instead to try to live rightly and according to God’s ways. The writer also suggests that, rather than more money, it is faith and love, endurance and gentleness that are worth actively seeking out.

Those who belong to God and those who serve the Christian community should live distinctive lives. Christians must live in a wider society and be attentive to it (rather than withdraw from the world or shun it) but they are called to a distinctive way of life with distinctive values as they live in that world. Wealth and comfort are not in themselves wrong but they aren’t essential to a disciple of Jesus.

Wealth creation presents a disciple of Christ and a person who seeks to serve God faithfully with a real choice. The good things, which we are fortunate to receive, must not be used to oppress others, but rather should be deployed to empower them. So, showing love for and kindness and gentleness to others is a hallmark of a servant of Christ. The Christian community, therefore, is called to be attentive to others, to serve others in need, and to be a people of faith and resilience. Christians are called to be different and distinct.


 To Ponder

  • What is it that you want most in life?
  • What choices have you made about money, lifestyle and possessions?

Bible notes author

Revd Helen Cameron

Helen Cameron is a Methodist presbyter and Chair of the Northampton District. Prior to this she was the Assistant Secretary of the Conference and Director of Methodist Formation at the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham.

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