1 Timothy 6:6-7 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
You know what would be an interesting TV show? “Baby Hoarders” It would feature children under the age of 1 that have spent their life collecting all kinds of stuff to the point that you can’t even open the door to their nursery. Their cribs are full of junk, their rooms are cluttered. Yes, their “whole life” has been dedicated to hanging on to stuff. Okay, maybe that’s a ridiculous idea. Babies don’t have a bunch of stuff. They didn’t bring anything into this world and there’s no way for them to acquire a lot that quickly.
Paul says in 1 Timothy 6, that we brought nothing into this world and we won’t be taking anything with us when we leave it. Yet we have this need to acquire more and more. What for? Why do we need it all? Why do our hearts have an insatiable appetite for acquiring? Maybe it’s because we aren’t content. And I hate to say it, but maybe we aren’t all that godly either. Instead we focus our lives on the “gain.” We spend time and energy figuring out how to get ahead, how to get more.
But that’s not the real route to increase. Godliness and contentment are. If we would focus our energy on godliness and set our hearts on contentment we would experience life in a whole new way. We would be more generous. We wouldn’t hang on to stuff so tightly. We would trust God more easily. We would find joy in giving. I want to live life like that! How about you?
1 Timothy 4:14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
Imagine someone giving you a really nice gift. Go ahead, use your imagination. What is it you would really love to have? It can be a diamond ring, a new bike, even a new car. Maybe it’s a vacation, or a puppy, or a free dinner. How nice of that person to give it to you, huh? Some of you have some pretty big imaginations, so if your dream gift came true, it would take a very generous person.
Now imagine getting a less tangible but equally beneficial gift. Maybe the gift is encouragement. Maybe you get handed the gift to be a brilliant teacher. Or what if someone was able to give you the gift of insight? Wouldn’t that be cool? Here’s the thing, the Bible says that God gives good gifts. But the good gifts he gives aren’t necessarily new cars (although I could tell you some stories). He gives us spiritual gifts that benefit both our lives and the lives of others.
Here in 1 Timothy 4, Paul is encouraging Timothy not to neglect his gift. Now isn’t that interesting… it would be like someone giving you that brand new dream gift and then you reject it. You say no thanks to the vacation and don’t bother with the diamond ring. Or maybe you receive it, but then don’t use it. It’s yours to use, but you let it sit and collect dust. That sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it?
But I wonder if there are many of us that are doing that exact thing with the gifts God has given us. I wonder if the very things He has deposited in us are collecting dust rather than being used as He intended them to be. Paul’s charge to Timothy was to use the gift that God gave him. Don’t neglect it. We should do the same.
*Are you neglecting the gifts God has given you?