1 Timothy 6 flies in the face of capitalistic consumerism. Paul writes to Timothy about the importance of godliness and contentment compared to the importance of things (materialism). In the original context, people were using ministry and godliness to try to get rich (vs.5). But Paul’s point is that true gain is found in the spiritual growth and spiritual rewards that actually last.
He states in vs. 12 that we should ‘take hold of the eternal life to which you were called’. I’ve read that verse before and one’s like it. On the surface, it seems like a classic case of ‘Christianese’. Yet when the context is considered Paul’s point is pretty profound. We should cling to our eternal life and value its wealth and spiritual possessions rather than cling to our temporal life and value its wealth and material possessions.
That is such an important principle. And I can tell you that as a Shadowlander it is not an easy one to hold to. My wife and I and entering the new land of retirement and in doing so, have plunged head-first into a part of adulthood we hadn’t been in before. It has been somewhat stressful but we’re happy to have lived long enough to be here. Yet we could very easily make the mistake of finding security in our pensions and our things rather than our relationship with God.
Things can be enjoyed as blessings from God (vs.17) but things are not to be striven for. Our striving is to be for the greater purpose of glorifying God and living for Christ and Him alone. It seems that there is no age, young or old, that is exempt from the struggle to put first things first in a culture that consistently identifies the wrong things as the first things!