The Dangerous Duty of Delight, chapter 8 (part 1)

What does it mean for Money?

If you've not yet been able to get a copy of the book (eBook available here for $7), then you can read chapter 8 here. 

Piper begins chapter 8 by arguing that ‘Money is the currency of Christian Hedonism.’ That is to say, it is the thing that Christians most tend to ‘worship’ instead of God. Hence, what we do with our money can most readily make or break our happiness forever. While this may be true for many, I wondered whether or not ‘Time’ might be the currency of Christian Hedonism– at least for some. Perhaps our Time is prized above all other things, and our use of our time might clearly reveal the orientation of hearts?

As Piper examines 1 Timothy 6:5-10, if you are in this latter group, you might find yourself substituting ‘the love of my time’ for ‘the love of money’; working out what it might mean to be content with the time you have been given. However, if you are in the former group– the money group– then grappling with ‘contentment with what you have’ remains the central issue.

Piper’s key assertion in this chapter is derived from the point made earlier in the book, that we are too easily satisfied with less. We are likely to settle for ‘fleeting money-bought pleasures that do not satisfy our deepest longings, but in the end destroy our souls.’ For now, consider how this principle is related to the ‘gain’ described in 1 Timothy 6:2-10

2b …These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. 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 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people 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.

1 Timothy 6:2-10

For your consideration: How might you seek ‘godliness WITH contentment’, the great gain? What might need to change?

Make your response to these questions the ‘springboard’ for your prayers now.

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