1 Timothy 6:6
NLT - 6 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.
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James, Here is a simple rule to follow. The smallest form of interpretation is in the paragraph. When you take a verse out of the context of the paragraph, you can easily "proof text". The media does it all the time. they can use one sentence from an interview and completely misconstrue the interview. And the the highest rule for scripture interpretation is that, " Scripture Interprets Scripture." If one verse doesn't seem to agree with the entirety of Gods character and his word, then you can be sure that you do not understand it properly. I hope this helps for future questions.
The term "wealth" in the context of 1 Timothy 6:6 is also translated as "gain" in other translations. "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world." (ESV) I personally believe applying the reverse may not necessarily true. An apple is a fruit, but not all fruits are apples. Contentment is a great benefit (gain) for us. But not all gain is contentment. We also gain in patience, love, understanding, self-control (fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22). All these, in addition to contentment, bring true wealth to our life. For this is what stays with us through eternity.
There are many examples that the reverse is not true. Biblically, you have many kings who possessed great wealth, but were no godly. In the world you have but to look at major business moguls, and movie stars to see that possessing great wealth does not make you godly.
Wealth in this verse has nothing to do with monetary gain. How many times have you heard someone say "I have good health, a good spouse and great kids-I'm the richest man in the world." Without understanding the full context of this situation we could assume having these 3 things brings about riches but we know the riches here are metaphorical and refer to being blessed/happy/content. 1 Timothy 6:6 must be seen in the same manner-the person who has true godliness and contentment is blessed beyond measure-"wealthy".
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