1 Timothy 6:1-10 … Occasionally we read something about slavery in Scripture and certainly abhor any form of slavery. However, in the first century (and for a long time thereafter) there were two classes of people in the ancient Middle East, slave and free, and there were many more slaves than free people. In the economy of the time, indenture was the means for securing food and shelter for self and family. For people without property, indenture was the most viable alternative. Today, we live in a mobile society with a medium of exchange that permits people to work (a modern form of indenture) in exchange for a paycheck. So as we read about slaves and masters, we can apply that to employer/employee relationships. 1 Timothy 6:1-2 is talking about attitudes in the workplace and indicates that work can be a ministry, from both employer and employee perspectives.
Next, the passage talks about quarrelsome individuals who lack an understanding of the Scriptures. Frankly, I’ve met some of these and they do attempt to promote controversy and friction, which is best to avoid (2 Timothy 2:23 will address this further). Being around people with a bitter, complaining spirit can be draining, while those who are contented with the gifts God has granted is exemplary and uplifting. One of the most outstanding men I know is a pastor and Bible teacher who has been a bed-fast quadriplegic for nearly 30 years. His demeanor, despite very difficult circumstances, is upbeat and encouraging. A favorite verse for him over these many years has been 1 Timothy 6:6 … Godliness with contentment is great gain. Would that we could all learn that!
The final topic of these few verses in Timothy deals with the temptation of wealth. Money itself is neither good nor evil. But the love of money is a destructive force in the lives of many.
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