Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:6-19
Key verses: (18-19) “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.”
Reflection: Reality TV is a fascinating phenomenon to me. It all began in 1992 with MTV’s “The Real World.” I was 26 when that show came out. It struck me as far removed from what I experienced as “the real world.” Real life wasn’t about living in a ritzy apartment with all expenses paid and absolutely no work demands. It certainly wasn’t about partying and scripted drama manufactured by the show’s producers.
Today’s reality genre is led by shows like “The Bachelor,” and “The Bachelorette.” How do these shows reveal anything about real life? They certainly don’t reflect the reality of relationships and how challenging they can be. That’s not real life.
In our reading from 1 Timothy 6, Paul urges his protégé, Timothy to encourage his congregation to take hold of the life that really is life. What is real life from Paul’s perspective? It’s not about achievement. It’s not about wealth. It’s not about vocational success or attaining some level of recognition. It’s about doing good, being generous and ready to share. By so doing we store up a different kind of treasure than those measured by worldly standards.
For Paul, real life is found in relationship. Faithful relationship is defined by generosity, by giving of ourselves in performing good works for each other, in sharing what we have with one another. It has been said we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Paul would agree. When we join God’s work in the world by sharing of ourselves and the resources entrusted to our care, we find out what real life really means. Or as Paul would put it, we “take hold of the life that really is life.”
Prayer: In the midst of the demands the real world brings us, O Lord, help us to hear your call; to do good and be rich in good works, generous and ready to share that we might take hold of the life that really is life. Amen.
Author: Joe Clifford
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].
“Through the month of September, we’re examining “The Life that Really is Life” through our Annual Giving Campaign. We encourage you to make your pledge to support the ministry of Myers Park Presbyterian Church in 2020 at myersparkpres.org/pledge.”