The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. Proverbs 21:5 (ESV®)
- Give everyone a chance to discuss this question honestly. Try to bring out the world’s mindset when it comes to money, wealth and power. Answering this question will help provide a clear contrast to what Scripture is saying in the rest of the study.
- 1 Timothy 6:9-11 describes people whose main motivation in life is desire to be rich They fall into temptation and commit foolish and harmful actions that can ruin their lives. The Scripture mentions craving, wandering away, and piercing themselves.
- Having money is not the root of all sorts of evil, but it is the love of money that is at issue here. If we love money more than anything else, greed and dishonesty and other harmful traits can result. This will negatively impact our relationships and work, which can ruin all the facets of our health and our lives.
- Verse 11 commands Timothy (and us by implication) to flee, to run away from the temptation to love money and all that it entails, and to pursue living a life that pleases God. He uses the words “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness”. Define and discuss these concepts and what our view of money and our lives would look like if we pursued them. It’s easy to look these up online in a few strokes of the keys! Each group member could look one up now.
- “World” is used six times here. John wants us to notice that two objects of worship exist — God and the world; he does not want us to miss this significant fact. We are commanded to not love the world or its things. The result for someone who loves the world first is that the love of God is not in him or her. The lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and boasting are not from God but from the world. God wants us to love Him first with all of our hearts, souls, and minds and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We need to keep a guard on our hearts and affections. Loving the world would compete with our love for God and other people.
- Do not answer this question too lightly. There are some major heart and mindset issues that need to be surfaced in us so God can change us into His image. The desires of the flesh can refer to our pressing forward into what we crave without listening to the the Spirit, who directs us to pursue God’s way and agenda instead. The lust of the eyes refers to us hungering to have what we see, whether or not it is right or good for us. Pride in what we have and do occurs in us when what we own and what we have accomplished take first place in our thoughts, words, and actions; we are worshipping ourselves rather than God. A good question to ask ourselves is “What am I longing for most of the day?” Let everyone contribute any thoughts they have about this issue. Take extra time here if needed.
- Verse 17 stops us in our tracks! It forces us to face the end of the existence not only of all that we can see, but also of all of our desires for those things, the things of the world. The world and its “stuff” does not last forever. We are here reminded that the one who pursues God first, who does His will, lives forever.
- Proverbs 21:5 teaches us that diligence, working hard in a disciplined way, leads to abundance; hastiness, working quickly just to “get it done” without giving attention to the quality of our work, leads to poverty.
- Diligence would be to plan ahead, plan carefully, and plan using sound wisdom with our treasure, talents, and time. For example, the data we have been collecting as we wrote down how we spent our money these last four weeks is an excellent part of diligent planning and biblical success in money management. If we have been hasty with this, we will not have the most accurate data to use in putting together a budget this week. Work done too quickly will not produce a full, rich result.
- Let those in the study summarize what they have learned; fill in any gaps you think need to be more fully dealt with. The summary should include elements of the answers 2-9 above. Let people have some time to silently consider the second question before they share an application point with the group.
- Complete your Spending Plan and choose an action step.
Download Monthly Spending Worksheet (PDF)
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