“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Great Gain (1 Timothy 6:3-21)

What do you think of when you think of contentment? (vs 6) Satisfaction?  complete Wholeness? 
I wonder if contentment is something that is meant for one person to attain unto himself or if others are required? How does contentment harmonize with community? 
Nature has created all of it's  animals to work together in an dance of dependency. As I sit here in the park, I see squirrels gathering pine nuts that have fallen from the trees. An interdependency between squirrel and tree allows the tree to provide the seed for the squirrel who then buries (plants) the seed in anticipation for winter storage.   

Why is man different from God's other creations? Why does man anxiously engage in activity to get gain above another? to be first, to compete, to have more? to be the best? to be "rich"? 

Paul teaches Timothy to pay caution to those who disdain wholesome words (vs 3) and doctrines of godliness. For Godliness teaches us to love others above the need for gain, to serve with charity over the need for more, to quell storms over words of strife. 

There are those that believe all gain is of godliness. In other words, if we are doing well we must be doing something right for God has blessed us. Does this mean then that all those who are not doing well are not blessed of God? It is a treacherous path to follow. 

The greatest gain comes when we measure contentment with our godliness. Contentment means that we consider the community in which we live and make sure our profits harmonize with others.  Contentment means we understand that we cannot bring anything with us into this world (of measured time) and we likewise cannot take anything with us. (vs 7) Contentment means that we count our blessings for having food and clothing (vs 8) and realize that anything above our basic needs is to be shared with others. Hoarding will only cause imbalance and strife. 

Nature can teach us of righteousness (God's creations do what they are created to do), godliness( they remind us of their creator), faith (they do not question their existence nor their purpose), love (they create social networks where they are protected and cared for and express this through their actions), patience (time has little meaning to them)  and meekness(tameness towards others of their species and even others species in need)(vs 11).

Man must consider that his prize lies in his ability to understand that the greatest gain he can attain comes not in the hoarding of earthly treasure but in the prospect  of eternal life (vs 12, 19) A squirrel does not love his food more than his community.   He has learned to respect that which gives  him food.  If he did not he might end up destroying the very tree which has been created to fulfill his needs. Likewise we are taught that we should not love that which gives us our needs (money) more than we love the community.  We are to respect that which brings us joy, food, shelter, and community. 

Paul taught us that God quickeneth all things (vs 13), and that we should not trust in uncertain riches (vs 17) but rather in the creator of both heaven and earth. God has promised  that we might, if we will keep God's commandments (vs 14) find immortality (vs 16) dwelling in his light (vs 16) . 



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  3. Dad says contentment is understanding the law of diminishing returns - more increases happiness for a while, but not indefinitely. When returns are diminished for ones self, one can then find additional satisfaction in increasing the returns of others.


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