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1 Timothy 6:9 – intending to be rich

10-07-2024 - Posted by Hans

Now those intending to be rich are falling into a trial and a trap and the many foolish and harmful desires which are swamping men in extermination and destruction.

In contrast to being satisfied with what a person basically needs (food, drink, clothing, a roof over the head), there is the aim of becoming rich. Paul does not use the verb to want (as most translations render it) but to intend (Gr. boulomai). It is not about the desire or will to be rich, but about the intention to actually pursue this. It is not being rich in itself that is condemned (6:17), but the striving to achieve it. Healthy material wealth is just a consequence of creating value for others. But being rich as an end in itself is unhealthy because it is self-centered.

Those who want to be rich fall into temptation and a snare. In fact, one is already falling into the snare of many foolish and harmful desires. Anyone who lacks peace in an austere existence will not obtain it by surrounding themselves with more luxury. Greed never has enough. It is a vortex with the ego at the center. It is a downward spiral of destruction and ruin. Satisfaction comes from within, not in luxury and opulence.