MYRA D. COLGATE
CHEROKEE PENTECOSTAL HOLINESS CHURCH
It is the love of money that can actually set up a wrong relationship with money. Money is only to be thought of as a useful tool in our lives. It is certainly not a god nor is it to hold as important a place as any person, especially a family member, in our lives. It can get people in trouble if it is thought of as the only choice answer as to what to pursue in life or in terms of priority.
Money is only to be considered as a tool used in making our lives better or easier. It is not to be lifted up as a “god” in our lives or thought to be the only goal to pursue in life. It has no other purpose in life, nor should it be given more honor or value other than as the “stuff” it represents in our lives. It can be a test to show us what really is in our hearts—is it God, or people, or are “things” more important to us? At the end of life you can’t take any “stuff” with you. Remember there are never trailers being pulled behind any hearse. Responsibility for “stuff” can also be burdensome in life—it only gets dusty or old and tattered as time goes by.
“But you, as a person dedicated to God, keep away from all of that. Instead pursue righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, endurance and gentleness.
“Compete well for the faith and lay hold of that eternal life you were called for and made your good confession for in the presence of many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:11-12 (GSB)
Righteousness, (meaning being in right standing with God) establishes a right relationship primarily between God and people, but also between individuals. It is the fulfillment of just (treating fairly) expectations in any relationship, whether with God or with other people. It is applicable at all levels of society and is relevant in all areas of life. The opposite of righteous is “evil”, “wicked” or” wrong. It is setting up “stuff” as being more important that we should truly avoid.
Righteousness denotes perfectly fulfilled expectations in relationships such as between husband and wife, parents and children, employer and employee, merchant and customers, ruler and citizens, and God with people.
In Israel, the concept of righteousness transformed all of life, both religious and secular. Israel had been called into existence as a separate nation through which Yahweh (Hebrew for God) was to witness to all nations concerning His universal rule, His nature, His expectations of life on earth. This meant that Israel required a revelation from God so they might learn His will and be instructed in maintaining a relationship with Him. This can show us that the quality of a personal relationship with God is directly linked to his or her relationship with others, too.
After humanity’s fall and acts of rebellion culminating in the Flood and the dispersion of those who were part of Babel, God renewed His relationship with humanity in Abraham and his descendants. Abraham was considered righteous because he believed God and His promises and ordered his life by the revealed will of God. (Genesis 15:6)
The Lord revealed to Israel even more clearly how they were to relate to Him and to each other. The person who was devoted to the service of God in worship and life was called righteous. (Malachi 3:18) In this way, righteousness was revealed as a state of integrity in relation to God and one’s neighbors, expressing itself in one’s acts and speech.
The hope for an era characterized by righteousness is rooted in the prophetic revelation of Messianic rule and establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth (Isaiah 11:1-9) and whose rule is extended to the nations, (Isaiah 11:10-16) and lasts forever (Isaiah 9:7). God’s enemies will be subdued and His people will be gathered together and live in a state of peace in His Presence.
He forgives, restores, remains faithful, loves, elects and sends His Spirit to renew His people and bestows on them all the benefits of the renewed covenant relationship. Both Jews and Gentiles will be the recipients of His Righteous acts. Individuals cannot attain this Righteousness by their own merits; it is a gift from God (Romans 3:21-5:21). There is no righteousness apart from Jesus Christ. The Father requires our acceptance of His Son as His appointed means of justification by each person so all creation can become right with God. (2 Peter 3:13)