1 Timothy 6:1-2 (NIV) 1 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them.
On verses 1-2: These verses apply to working relationships, how employees should treat their employers. Earlier in 1 Timothy we learned that how you treat your own family is a measure of your spiritual maturity. In these verses we learn that how you treat people at work is also a measure of your spiritual maturity.
When you as a Christian treat your unbelieving boss, as flawed and imperfect as he/she may be, with “full respect”, you make the Gospel attractive. On the other hand, if you’re a Christian and you treat your unbelieving boss disrespectfully, you only give your unbelieving boss one more reason to slander Christians and to not believe (v1).
If you have a boss who is a Christian, don’t let the fact that you share the same faith cause you to treat him/her with less respect. The fact that you are family in Christ means you want to treat your Christian boss even better since you’re family (v2)!
1 Timothy 6:3-5 (NIV) 3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
On verses 3-5: Paul again warns Timothy about false teachers. Paul rightly points out that false teaching is to be avoided not only because it is false in an abstract, philosophical sense, but also because practically false teaching produces bad fruit in a person’s life — things like pride, envy, division, gossip and evil suspicion. In contrast, true teaching from God’s Word always produces good fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. So be on your guard against teaching that resists, ignores or casts doubt upon Jesus Christ. If you’re not careful, false teaching will poison your thinking and eventually destroy your life.So watch what kind of teaching you let your heart and mind feed on.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV) 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
On verses 6-10: Here Paul speaks against greed, materialism and a love of money. Many people back in Timothy’s day saw getting rich as their number one aim in life. They believed that more money would make them happier. Paul counters that belief by pointing out two things.
First, a love of money will not make you happier, but emptier and increasingly dissatisfied. Notice Paul does not say that money itself is the root of all evil, but the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Money itself is neutral. But left unchecked, a love of money can destroy what’s most important to you, derail your faith, distract you from your destiny and bring you misery. Let’s not be those who love money and use people, but rather let’s use money and love people.
Second, Paul says that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (v6). In other words, if you truly want to be happy and fulfilled, focus on your relationship with Jesus, have a Biblical view of money and live for God’s glory. (By the way, if you want a Biblical view of money, be sure to take our Thrive Discipleship School Level 2 Class called the Secret Power of Tithing where we learn how God sees money.) Only God, not money, can ultimately satisfy the God-sized hole in your heart.
So seek His kingdom first and He will add everything you need.
Lord Jesus, whether it’s in how I conduct myself at work, what teaching I allow to impact my thoughts, or how I look at money, may You always be at the centre, the One I live for and serve. May I not be a lover of money, but may I be wise with money. Please fill me today Holy Spirit, that I may manage everything You’ve given me — relationships, my mind, money — in a way that gives You glory and advances Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!