Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
— 1 Timothy 6:17
Many years ago, my wife and I knew a family who was extremely wealthy. When I use the word “extremely” to describe their wealth, even this word inadequately expresses the immense reserves of worldly possessions they had accumulated. Due to their great-great-grandfather’s wise planning two generations earlier, their family money had been invested in such a way that it couldn’t be touched and therefore wouldn’t be spent. As a result, the family investments had kept growing and accumulating for two generations.
Although vast sums of money were in the bank and belonged to these family members, they were not allowed to touch one cent of it until the date that had been set by their great-great-grandfather. They were enormously wealthy; yet they struggled financially to make ends meet because the treasure they had in the bank wasn’t at their disposal.
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When we first came to know this family, the time had finally arrived — their money became available for them to use and enjoy. But because they had lived for so long with so little, they didn’t know how to enjoy the money. In fact, even though they could purchase anything they wished, they didn’t. They felt guilty about owning so much money.
So instead of enjoying their wealth, these family members just let the money sit in the bank, where it continued to grow larger. Meanwhile, they lived like people who were financially strapped for cash. They wore old clothes; they balked at spending the money to purchase a new car; and they were very concerned about what people would think of them if word ever got out about how much money they had in the bank. When I saw these people, I’d try to encourage them to go buy some new clothes, but they didn’t want to spend the money to do it. Even though they could purchase anything they wanted, they lived like poor people.
When Paul wrote to Timothy, he gave him instructions for the rich people who attended his church. He said, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).
I want you to notice that God’s blessings are to be enjoyed. The word “enjoy” in this verse is from the Greek word apolausis, which describes a person who gets the maximum benefit from something he owns. Rather than feel guilty about what he owns, he derives great pleasure, gratification, and enjoyment from what he possesses. This means if God has entrusted abundant resources to you, you shouldn’t feel guilty about your wealth or feel badly about enjoying it. God wants you to enjoy the blessings and resources He has entrusted to you!
Paul asked the Corinthians, “…Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?” (1 Corinthians 9:7). In other words, if you have worked hard to produce the success you are now experiencing, it is right and normal for you to personally enjoy a part of it!
Worldly wealth empowers you to get things done; it enables you to be a blessing to other people; and it gives you the ability to sow into the work and advancement of the Gospel. So stop feeling guilty if you are financially blessed. Stop feeling like it’s wrong that you got a promotion when someone else didn’t. You have worked hard for the harvest you are now reaping, and it’s time to start enjoying what God has done for you!
Why don’t you change the way you are thinking? Learn to see yourself as one who has been specially empowered in order to be a blessing to others and to give for the advancement of the Gospel. And if you want to enjoy some of your wealth along the way, there’s nothing wrong with that either! God has given you all things richly to enjoy!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I have asked You to bless me financially. So when increased finances begin to come, please help me have the grace both to enjoy them and to use them for the advancement of Your Kingdom. I don’t want to flaunt the money I possess or to frivolously spend it. Instead, I want to use it to do something positive and eternal in this life. At the same time, please teach me how to enjoy the financial increase You have blessed me with and to know that it is all right for me to personally derive some benefit from it as well. Help me to truly understand that You give us ALL things richly to enjoy!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that I am blessed of the Lord. My personal finances are growing, and I am being positioned to become a source of huge financial blessing to other people. I have worked hard for the blessings that are coming my way, and I have every right to enjoy a part of them personally. The Holy Spirit is giving me wisdom to know how to administrate my finances — to whom I should give funds, as well as how I should spend and invest my money. I have the mind of Christ to deal appropriately with the financial blessings that God is sending into my life.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
- What would you do if a large sum of money was suddenly dropped into your hands today?
- Are you sowing seed into the Gospel that will bring a harvest back into your life? Where are you sowing that seed? Why have you chosen to sow your seed into that particular ministry or organization?
- Do you enjoy your possessions, or do you feel guilty about possessing them? To fully enjoy what God has given you, what changes do you need to make in the way you think about material possessions?