I’m not sure if it was because I was the only boy in my generation of cousins (not entirely true, I suppose, but my little brother didn't come in to my life until my twenties, and my nearest male cousin on my mom’s side is 11 years older than me, and I didn't interact with any of them until well in to my 30s), but with all sisters and girls all around me, I observed more than I participated in things. I’ve watched people from an early age, studying mannerisms and why they do what they do. In all that time, one thing I have come to realize is that whatever holds one’s heart, that is truly what they worship. Don’t get me wrong, people may not physically bow down to these things or people, but they pour their time, treasures and talents in to maintaining such things and relationships. The object of one’s affections is, effectively, their god. Jesus Himself even stated (speaking of money, but the same principle applies) “ for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
So this is the question we must ask ourselves: what holds our hearts? What is it we spend our time chasing, our money, our efforts chasing? Money is not evil, the Apostle Paul says “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:10). We’re to build relationships with others, but it is only from an outpouring of Christ’s love for us: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). We’re to use our time and talents wisely, but only to give honor and glory to God: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). Neither treasure, time, talents or relationships are, in and of themselves evil; it is when these things hold our hearts that they become corrupted. If God is the sole owner, however, everything will find it’s right and proper place: He is the ruler of them all, and so none shall hold mastery over us, if God is truly our Lord. So give your heart completely to Him, He is it’s author and designer, and He loves it more purely and completely than we ever could. He will restore it to its proper function, and bring peace beyond understanding in every way to your life.
1 Timothy 6:11-21
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
Grace be with you.