Tuesday, 13 February 2018
And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 1 Timothy 6:8
Paul just cited the thought of writers like Job and Solomon who noted that we brought nothing into this world, and we will not be carrying anything out when we finally kick the bucket. This is why we kick the bucket instead of carrying it along with us full of stuff. As we are simply passing through without the hope of any material gain on the way out, then what we have in that regard is really not that important. Our walk here is a few short years, and our walk in the next life will be for all eternity. A million years isn’t a scratch on the surface of what we can anticipate.
With this in mind, he says, “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” The Greek word translated as “we shall be content” indicates sufficiency. Those things that are necessary for meeting our needs are sufficient for the conduct of our lives. The words “food and clothing” are intended as the meeting of those general needs, whatever they may be. We cannot do without food, and we should not do without clothing. Food is a necessary thing to keep us physically fit, and clothing is a necessary thing to keep us morally covered.
Thus, if we have the things which are necessary for our physical lives, and the things which are needed for our spiritual lives, we should be content, for they are sufficient for meeting our main needs. Medicine would fall under the “food” category. The Bible would fall under our “clothing” category. The first attends to our physical needs, the second attends to our spiritual needs. In understanding what things are actually necessary to meet these needs, we can discover which things are actually superfluous in our lives. It is those things that we ought not give great priority to. Instead, if we have them, we can (and should) be grateful for them, but we should not let them consume who we are.
Life application: Tickets to a sporting event, a nice TV, lipstick, a new car… such things are not a part of our necessary needs. They may make life fun, easier, more pleasing, and so on, but they add nothing of true value to our walk towards glory. Let us keep these things in mind, and let us be attentive to the things that are truly important first. And then, let us show gratitude for the extra blessings which have come our way.
Lord God, there are things which are necessary for our physical and spiritual lives, and then there are things which are simply blessings which benefit us in a temporary way. Help us to understand the difference between the two, and to not let things which are actually unimportant for our walk towards eternity consume us and divert us from keeping our eyes on You. Instead, help us to be grateful for our blessings, but not consumed by them. Amen.