Archives For 1 Timothy 6:17-19

       The Christian Financial Alliance was created to help readers. The idea is this: Create a panel of biblical finance gurus. People who take seriously the call to teach the Bible accurately with grace and truth. Once a month, we post a question with a response from our panel to provide you with well-rounded, sound, biblical advice. For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

In your own words, define biblical generosity.

       “Biblical generosity is giving that is a result of a transformed heart. We give because God loved us first and because we long to love, live and give as He did. We want to grab hold of the abundant life in Christ – of which giving is an important part. We are told by Jesus himself that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). By giving we are also able to help release the hold that money can create on our hearts. “Instruct those who are rich in this present world…to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share…so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19) We are told that our heart can’t serve two masters, and by being generous with what God has given us we’re able to release it’s hold on our lives and truly serve Him. “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) To me giving generously in a biblical manner leads to happiness, fulfillment and to loving others as Christ first loved us.” –

       “Loving your neighbor by using money to make his life better in some way.” –

       “Generosity, in my own words, is being spirit led for giving decisions. If we feel that God is leading us to be generous in a certain way with our money, we should act on this in faith. This requires us to not be overly attached to money, but always remaining open to God’s plan. After all, we’re called to manage it for him. The best way to release the hold on money is to stretch your faith and give to God first out of every paycheck.” –

       “Biblical generosity is fueled by a passion for sharing God’s love with the world. It’s about realizing the great gift we’ve received from God through Jesus Christ and desiring to pass that gift on to others (in a variety of ways – not just money). It’s cheerful, freewill, and sacrificial and is motivated purely by love.” –

       “Biblical generosity is extending the goodness of God and grace of Jesus Christ to the world by living a life of pouring out–of putting the needs of others above ourselves.” –

       “Biblical generosity is seeking first the kingdom of God. It is accepting and adopting a new mind with which we evaluate what makes sense and what is a good financial decision. It is the desire to love God and others – even when others can’t understand those choices. Biblical generosity means acknowledging the blessings of God in our lives and giving him full ownership over everything we have.” –

       “It blesses God when we are generous. It’s an act of worship; it’s a way we can show love to others; it develops character within the giver. When we give freely, we can experience the joy that comes from it and be blessed in our own life as we bless others.”

       “To me, there is one very straightforward passage in scripture that tells us what Biblical generosity looks like, those verses are found in Luke 10:25-37. It’s the story of a Samaritan (who was hated by the Jews), stopping alongside the road, and helping and providing for a Jew, someone that socially despised him. This is the present day equivalent of a well known political nemesis, the star player on a sports team that just beat your team, or someone from a different religion as you. And what Jesus is asking you to do is this, stop what your doing, help them out, and provide for their needs. There is only one way that we are able to meet the scriptural example of being generous. We must love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), and we must be willing to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). If our life, not just our answer, looks like this, then I think we are living a Biblically generous lifestyle.” –

For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

       Readers, how would you define Biblical generosity? Let me know in the comments!

Bible with Cross Shadow by knowhimonline on Flickr       Today’s Personal Finance Bible Scripture comes from 1 Timothy 6:17-19.

       17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NLT)

       I’ve lived my entire life in America, and I’ve only visited one other country (Haiti). But I know how amazingly blessed I am to have been born in a country where prosperity abounds. Even the poor in America are richer than most people in the rest of the world, yet we generally take our wealth for granted and tend to trust in it too much.

       Are you a Christian living in America (or a wealthy or prosperous Christian in any country)? I encourage you to meditate on this verse for the next week. How is God speaking to you through His Word? Do you trust in money more than God? Do you truly believe God provides everything you need? Where are you storing your treasures?

       Let’s try to make sure we don’t get so caught up in the riches of this world that we miss out on true life.

       In the last part of this series, we continued talking about practical applications when we take on God’s View of the World, Money, and our lives. How should we act and what should we do when we take on God’s View and live out His will? We’ll finish that discussion today, and in the next part of the series we’ll start talking about the results of following God’s teaching on contentment.

       Proverbs has tons of great personal finance advice, but Proverbs 23:4-5 has a very practical application for our lives—especially today.

   4 Don’t weary yourself to be rich.
   In your wisdom, show restraint.

   5 Why do you set your eyes on that which is not?
   For it certainly sprouts wings like an eagle and flies in the sky.

Proverbs 23:4-5 (WEB)

       When we look at the world around us, we can see people everywhere wearing themselves out trying to get rich. And how many families have been torn apart because of an obsession with work? How many people have committed suicide because they lost their wealth? We have to be wise enough to know when to quit—when enough is enough.

Bald Eagle by Velo Steve on Flickr       Worldly wealth can be quite fickle. It’s temporary (even if it lasts your entire life), faulty, and can disappear very quickly. I’m sure we all know of cases where money has come and gone quite easily. That’s the problem with worldly wealth. While we think we’ll get security if we have enough of it, the truth is that it’s built on a weak foundation and can’t provide the things we really need. Even if it gets us through our old age, we can’t do much with it once we’re dead.

       This is why Jesus tells us to focus on heavenly treasure and God’s kingdom. Unlike worldly wealth, these things are permanent. They’re built on a foundation stronger than any we’ve ever known. The lasting treasure we pile up in heaven will always provide for us during this life. And when we’ve passed on, we’ll still have all of it. No matter what happens to us, we can never lose the treasure of God’s love living in us. We might not be rich and famous, but we’ll always have the invaluable gift of eternal life.

       Paul mirrors the wisdom of this proverb in his instructions to Timothy for the rich:

       17 Charge those who are rich in this present world that they not be haughty, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy; 18 that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (WEB)

       Wealth makes it easy for us to become arrogant and stop trusting in God. We gain a false sense of security, because the truth is that worldly wealth is very uncertain. But when we place our trust wholly in God, He provides everything we need. God can give us joy that we can’t get from anything else on Earth. His joy lets us see the true value of things in our life, and His love working through us makes our lives much more valuable than any amount of money ever will.

       Paul’s very practical advice is that we should use money to do good—not to store it up and trust in it. We should focus on doing good things for other people in the service of God. We should be generous and always ready to share. This is the essence of God’s view on contentment—that we should not be obsessed with things or wealth or status, but that we should always be ready to do good, to love others, to share what we have, and to always trust that He will provide everything we need.

       Contentment means that we stop being obsessed with buying that new iPod, but instead we give that money to the hungry.

Give us this day... by Mr. Kris on Flickr

(Click the picture to read about the tragedy of hunger in our world.)

       It means that we drive our old car a little longer, so that we may be able to give clean water to the thirsty.

Woman with child collecting water by hdptcar on Flickr

       It means we live in a smaller home, so that we can provide shelter for those that have no place to stay warm or out of the rain.

Homeless by Henrique Vicente on Flickr

       It means that we stop spending so much time working and pursuing wealth, so that we can spend time building relationships with our family, our friends, our neighbors, complete strangers, and even our enemies.

Relationship by Smile My Day on Flickr

       Fully pursuing contentment means that we totally trust in God for His providence, and we stop worrying about what’s going to happen in the economy.

       And what do we get for all of this? A good foundation of heavenly treasure that lasts for eternity, and the ability to experience true life rather than that illusion of the “good life” that’s fed to us every day. Contentment allows us to live out a true life in Jesus and to fully experience His love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

Want to read the entire Bible study series on Contentment? Download your free copy of Contentment Is Wealth: A Bible Study on Contentment now!