Passage: 1 Timothy 6:2-10
Speaker: Mitch Kim
Series: Truth Over Spin
Dealing With Dissension
What if the problem of our division is our disordered desires? We live in a period of deep division, and the lines of division run through our nation, our church, our families, and even our marriages. Yet division is not novel; in 1 Timothy the root of the division in the church was found in their disordered desires, and the key to heal division is to reorder those desires. Does this apply today? How do we reorder our desires? We see in this passage that disordered desires bring division and destruction, while godliness reorders desires to bring contentment.
First disordered desires brings division (1 Tim 6:3–5). The root issue here is “imagining that godliness is a means of gain” (6:5). This desire for gain is a disordered desire leading to “envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people” (6:4–5). Now right doctrine may also bring dissension (e.g., Acts 15:2), but when we find ourselves suspicious, slandering, and angry with others, this may be an indication that our desires are not ordered rightly. Such disordered desires come from bad doctrine which fails to “agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness” (6:3).
Disordered desires also bring destruction (1 Tim 6:9–10). The desire to be rich is a snare, causing people to fall “into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (6:9). We must be well aware of the destruction that comes from our cravings for money, “for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (6:10). Money itself is not evil, but the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
Yet godliness reorders our desires to bring contentment (1 Tim 6:6–8). The realignment of our desires comes through doctrine which “agree[s] with the sound words of Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness” (6:3). What we believe matters and shapes the life of godliness within us. As a result we pursue “godliness with contentment” for this is “great gain” (6:6). The fruit of godliness is contentment, not endless cravings.
So what? We are living in a time when our cravings can be satisfied in unprecedented ways. We can eat what we want, do what we want, and our cravings are king. What if the key to satisfaction was not more “me-time”? What if the reason for so much dissension not only in the world but also in the church is a myopic focus on our own satisfaction? May we reorder our desires to find that, indeed, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”