Collecting the Right Stuff
Charge them...that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate...
1 Timothy 6.18
Those who read this article may be avid collectors of some strange and some not-so-strange items. There seems to be a part of human nature that causes us to collect stuff. People collect all kinds of interesting things: oil paintings, salt and pepper shakers, stuffed bears, campaign buttons, guns, stamps, and our personal “hero” memorabilia.
In Isaiah 39, someone brought Hezekiah some letters and a present. Hezekiah showed them all the things in his house. There was not anything in the house Hezekiah did not show them. Isaiah prophesied that those things and things accumulated from other nations by previous Hebrew kings would wind up in the hands of their enemies.
In contrast, Paul delivers a charge to Timothy to exhort all men to “be rich in good works.” It is the only type of collection that lasts - the kind you give away. So many are rich in wisdom, experience, knowledge, goodness, kindness, edification, and teaching. Sadly, though, they neglect to give it away. A collection accumulating dust is of no value at all unless it is displayed for others to see.
Dorcas’ love for others was displayed at her death. She gave away garments for those in need. It not only became a treasure in heaven, but to those who wore those garments, it became a collection of love that would motivate them to do the same for others.
The collection of such stories as Dorcas, Ruth, Daniel, Timothy, Joseph, Noah, Abel, and others ia a priceless treasure. Each one has its own value - strength, courage, faith, loyalty, diligence, and purity. These collectible treasures are left behind “four our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15.4).
Now it is our turn to be “rich in good works” so we might leave a collection of righteousness and holiness that will encourage the next generation to live for God.