“They [the rich] 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.” 1 Timothy 6.18-19
The above verses, especially the last phrase got me thinking recently. What is the “life that really is life” and why do we need to be reminded to take hold of it? If it really is life, life with substance and purpose, shouldn’t it be easy to see and to take hold of? Perhaps not.
In this passage, Paul is writing about those who are apparently rich and have “set their hopes on the uncertainty of their riches” (v. 17) rather than on God who provides for us out of his own riches.
The problem is perspective. Everything in this world tries to tell us what life is and it is so easy to buy into the message.
We wear t-shirts that advertise it and we often proclaim that “x is life”. All of us should be able to fill in something for x. It is what the world pushes us towards. X could be basketball, football, volleyball; it could be the garage band, the school choir, or the theater program; maybe its hunting and fishing; perhaps it is a video game or maybe it is a boyfriend or girlfriend. Of course, we may not say it out loud, but our actions and the amount of time we spend in any of these things are the true testimony of what we believe life to really be.
Scripture tells us something different. The Triune God is the God of life. He made it, redeemed it, and sustains it.
Our skills and abilities that make x life for us all diminish as we age. They disappear entirely when we die. But through Jesus Christ we have life that really is life. It is everlasting life and it can be nourished throughout our earthly years by the reading of Scripture, engaging God in prayer, being part of a faith community like your local church, and being challenged by retreats and camps. This is the only life that will actually be deepened and become more substantial upon death. It is life that really is life; the life that is only found through Jesus Christ.
May you, by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, take hold of the life that really is life.