"These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.” 1 Timothy 6:5
Who is Paul speaking to here? Anyone who teaches something different than the “wholesome teachings of Jesus Christ”. There are obvious charlatans in ministry who manipulate true Godliness as a means to profit. However, it is easy for well-meaning leaders in the church to get out of sync in this same way. It can be an easy and slippery slope. It can happen when we become more concerned in how what we do and say will affect the congregation's favor and giving. I work in the arena of giving and generosity everyday and it might seem that what I just said is a contradiction of what I coach to my clients. God desires that we speak to our congregations about giving and generosity, but because, as Paul said in Philippians 4, of what we want “for them” and not what we want “from them”. We must do and say what we do and say because it is what God desires from us…not simply because it will profit us.