1Ti 6:17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
1Ti 6:18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
1Ti 6:19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
Last time I said I shouldn't be arrogant in my desire for comfort, but thankful instead. "Haughty" in verse 17 could be translated "arrogant." Then I said thankfulness should lead to good works, as in verse 18. This passage also never condemns "stuff" in itself, but condemns putting our hope in our stuff. Finally, I admit I don't fully understand the whole "treasure in heaven" thing, so we'll leave that for a later date.
Now for the scheduled programming.
I am suffering:
Too much food hurts my belly.
But someday I'll be happy,
When I'm hungry again.
Then I'll pick another rest'rant.
Whenever I go out to eat I make sure I get my money's worth. This stems from a desire to be a good steward of the money entrusted to me. I don't want to waste it by paying a bunch for barely any food. Naturally the best option (when considering the wallet) is to cook for myself. For now, let's take for granted that occasionally eating out is okay.
If after eating out I decide that I paid too much, I won't eat out again for a while. That's why I love buffets -- I'll never have to leave thinking I got less food than I paid for. Here is where the problem for me comes: "Too much food hurts my belly." In the name of getting my money's worth, I eat to the point of discomfort. Then in my discomfort I think I am suffering. Oh to be hungry again!
One of the primary principles of simple living is to guard against arrogant selfishness. It is to keep in mind those that are truly suffering. Would I moan of my overly full stomach to a child dying of starvation? That's not love for my neighbor.
It is fitting to bring up here that line when food gets wasted. Something like, "There are children starving in Africa that would do anything for that food." I hope the sentiment behind that statement is understood. The point is to jog self-centeredness with a reminder of what's happening in the world. Are you thankful that you aren't dying of starvation? Then why throw food away? Some say in response, "If they are starving in Africa, then just send this food to them!" Yes, we should seek to do something about it. And say I got involved and fed the starving with my own hand. Would it be consistent then to continue to leave food on my plate and throw it away? So even if I don't help anyone, isn't better to at least remember them? We wish to remember Christ, certainly. Well, what we do for them we do unto him (Mat. 25:40).
For that reason, it pains me to see food left on a plate and then thrown away. Arrogance. So I end up eating that food to save it from waste. "Are you gonna eat that?" In a sense, I eat it on the starving's behalf.
Then again, we can do something to help. There are ministries and programs in place that require very little effort to support, yet do a whole lot of good. Just look around. Can I skip eating out a couple times and instead give the money to feed the starving? Sure. Can you?
There is much more I could say. I didn't even get to the last line of the stanza. Next time then.