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By:  H. Dayton

Are you rich? Sometime I feel rich and sometimes I don’t. It usually depends on whom I am around. Most of us define a rich person as a person who has more money than we do. But if we compare our living standards to all the people who have lived throughout history or even with the rest of the billions of people living on the earth today, the majority of us who live in this nation are rich.

The Lord knew the rich would face serious spiritual danger. So Scripture offers three instructions for “those who are rich in this present world” (1 Timothy 6:17).
  •  Do not be conceited.

“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited” (1 Timothy 6:17). Wealth tends to produce pride. For several years, I drove two vehicles. The first was an old pickup truck … When I drove that truck to the bank drive-in window to cash a check, I was humble. I knew the cashier was going to double-check my account to make certain that the driver of that truck had sufficient funds to cover the withdrawal. I waited patiently while she checked. When I received the money, I was so grateful. I drove away with a song in my heart and praises on my lips.

My other vehicle was a well-preserved, second-hand automobile that was expensive when it was new. When I drove that car to the bank, I appeared to be a different person. I deserved a certain amount of respect. I was not quite as patient when the cashier examined my account, and when I received the money, I was not as grateful … Wealth stimulates conceit.

James 1:9-10 addresses this issue: “But let the brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position; and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.” The poor should be encouraged as children of the King of kings, while the rich are to remain humble because life is short. If you are rich, you need the constant reminder to be humble before the Lord and other people. 
  • Put no confidence in your assets.

“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not … to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). This has been a tremendous struggle for me. It is easy for us to trust in those tangible assets we have accumulated. I know that money can buy goods and services. It has so much power that it is easy to be fooled into thinking that money supplies our needs and offers security. Money can become our first love. We tend to trust in the seen rather than in the invisible living God. This is why we need to constantly remind ourselves to walk by faith rather than by sight.
  •  Give generously.

“Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed” (1 Timothy 6:18-19).


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