But godliness with contentment is great gain… but to put our hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Tim 6:6, 17)
1. Be content with our material possessions
How counter-cultural this is when many of us are still recovering from all the craving and desires in the holiday season. This is timely because we need to be reminded that the enjoyment of a new year does not depend on how much we acquire and possess. Instead, it is about whether we can savor every moment and every blessing that God has already poured out on us. Say "I love you" to your loved ones. Cherish the gifts you received in the holiday and enjoy it. Savor the food that you eat. Enjoy your workout. I need to remind myself that I have another year of enjoying the things I already have instead of looking out for things that I do not.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil… Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share (1 Tim 6:10, 18)
2. Beware of the love of money
I need to continually remind myself that money has the ability to deceive and provide a false sense of security. Paul encouraged Timothy to instead "lay up treasure as a firm foundation for the coming ages." How do we lay up this treasure in the coming ages? While 2014 is a good time to think of ways to put money into our retirement account and to think of different ways to invest, let us not to lose sight of the importance of planning for how we give our time, our energy, and our money in the service of others and in our community. The litmus test on whether we are trapped by love of money is whether we are willing to give them away. My prayer for myself and for you is that we can truly be freed so that we can pursue what is truly important and permanent in life. We can be generous because God has generously given himself to us on the cross.