Friday, 23 February 2018
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share 1 Timothy 6:18
The final words of the previous verse said that it is God “who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” Paul’s words now follow directly on that with. The obvious intent is that because it is God who has given all things for us to enjoy, we should find pleasure in sharing the good we have been blessed with. In fact, it should be the greatest joy for those who have been so blessed, to then be willing to share what they have received. Paul does not directly say this now, but it is implied in how he is structuring his words. Further, as will be seen in a moment, it is something Jesus explicitly taught.
First, Paul says, “Let them do good.” Numerous verses support this notion of doing good, but Galatians 6:10 is a sufficient verse to support the idea –
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10
There, Paul noted, “especially the household of faith.” By sharing one’s material blessings with other believers, a person will keep from being haughty, as he previously warned. He next explains what “doing good” means. First, he says “that they be rich in good works.” He uses the same word here that he used in verse 9 concerning “those who desire to be rich.” The contrast is obvious. One who is truly rich is one who is rich in good works. Instead of self-gratification, he is one who blesses others and stands approved before God.
Next he says, “ready to give.” This means that the person with wealth should have the ability to share his wealth at any time. He should be looking for opportunity to arise where he can suddenly reach out and assist. United with that is the next thought, “willing to share.” This is a similar, but stronger, word. It signifies that the person should actually receive enjoyment by sharing with others. In other words, he should rejoice at the chance to share, and in the opportunity to do so when it arises.
Life application: Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). It is not always natural for those who have wealth to share it, but as one gives, it becomes natural and even enjoyable. Having said this, there is always the need to share properly. Giving away money, time, or ability takes discernment. Some people are leeches; some people ask but don’t need; some people will use what they are given inappropriately. The one who gives must use discernment, but must also not use that as an excuse to not give. There are ample opportunities to give, and there are many great needs when one looks around.
Lord God, as all things we possess came from You, help us to be willing to share what we can with others. And yet, help us to be discerning about those we give assistance to. Let us not be used by those who aren’t willing to tend to themselves, or to give to those who will waste what they receive, or even to give when no true need exists. As the things we have came from You, we should certainly consider that we are responsible to You for what we do with that which we possess. Give us wisdom and discernment in this, O God. Amen.