by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
1 Timothy 6:6-10 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
As I write, it seems the prevailing concern among people everywhere is -– what's going on with the economy? Europe is on the verge of an economic collapse. Even the kings of wall street are reportedly dumping their shares in U.S. companies. People are watching their wealth dissipating and dwindling away. Reflecting on these material losses reminds me of a story about a lady who perished in Pompeii in the first century.
Pompeii was a flourishing city in Southern Italy until 79 AD. Suddenly, for two days Mt. Vesuvius erupted and completely destroyed Pompeii in all its pomp. The city was covered in meters of ash and pumice for 1700 years until it was accidentally discovered in 1748. When archaeologists began excavations in 1910 they uncovered a petrified woman clutching some of the finest jewelry ever recovered from the ancient world. She was apparently attempting to flee the doomed city, and in her haste, holding desperately onto her valuable possessions –- she lost her life.
During its time Pompeii was a magnificent city, yet it's destiny was destruction by a nearby volcano –- and so it is with our world today. There's so much beauty on our planet earth –- yet its destiny is certain! The day is soon coming when it's elements will be destroyed with fire, the earth and everything in it, laid bare, [2 Peter 3:10] –- and our earthly possessions will not come with us into glory, (only what we have done with them).
As the Apostle Paul said, we came into this world with nothing – and when we leave this world, we take nothing with us. We can make the mistake of holding too dearly onto our earthly possessions, making them our "treasure", (rather than storing treasure where moth and rust do not corrode etc.) – but this is a costly error, as illustrated by our "petrified lady". Instead, let's remind ourselves that we are stewards of God's possessions, responsible to use them with His interests in mind, to further His Kingdom with the things He has entrusted to us. With so much work to be done, let's never allow our earthly possessions to petrify us with greed or fear thus preventing the eternal work we were preordained for, and stealing our eternal rewards.