By Pr Ben Odongo
1 Timothy 6:6: “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” The above verse was a statement made by Apostle Paul to Timothy.
In that statement, Paul teaches that true gain is godliness with contentment. This means that rather than consider amassing wealth as great gain, it is better to consider godliness.
However, some Churches today preach the direct opposite. Rather than teach the same thing Paul taught, Pastors (especially prosperity preachers) prefer to twist Apostle Paul’s statement to teach that great gain is godliness.
This would mean a true believer is one who has made it financially.
To these people, wealth is the true proof of your Christianity. This is the reason some believers question their Christianity when they have been in Church for long but their financial status seems discouraging. They begin to nurse a feeling of not being truly born again.
Paul warns sternly about this false and twisted teaching in 1 Timothy 6:5: “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”
The scripture says such people are destitute (broke and empty of the truth) because their message is that godliness is measured by gain.
There are people who believe the kind of car you are driving or house you built reveal God in your life and measures the amount of godliness in you.
These beliefs rob people of the realities in Christ.
Contentment means that circumstances do not dictate our conduct or character. We give thanks, we rejoice. We are blessed despite what we do not have yet.
The reason we come to God is because of His nature as the Creator. Any preaching that portrays that being close to God means you will not face problems is false because there shall be trials, temptations. But in all these, God has given us victory; we are more than conquerors.
Our contentment is in our revelation of God in Christ and in knowing God. On the other hand, it is not a sin to be wealthy. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, but everything is wrong with being greedy.
Therefore, we need to avoid any place, person or teaching that is capable of stirring up greed in our hearts.
We are need choose to be content with the riches of Christ (Colossians 1:27, Ephesians 3:8) rather than pursue material riches.
1 Timothy 6:7-8: “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
The writer is a student of Theology at Uganda Christian University.