In my ladies' Bible class last night, we talked about contentment. There's a reason I chose that subject right now, right as we're all buying Christmas presents. Right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Are you content? Do you live a life of total contentment? Most of us are content for the most part, I would imagine, but we would probably not be able to say that we live a life of total contentment.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-11
Godliness WITH contentment is great gain.
GREAT GAIN. What does that mean?
Godliness with contentment is great gain because God knows that it is what is best for us. Godliness is great because by being godly we are being like Jesus. But to be content - as Jesus was content - is something that will help us to be even more like Him and allow us to show Him to others. He was able to be content throughout His life - being persecuted, being mocked, and eventually being beaten and crucified on a cross. Nothing we go through (most likely) will be near what He went through. Some will suffer, yes. Some undergo horrible persecution, even now. Some may even be killed. But for the majority of us, we won't. We must learn to be content, so that His light is shining brightly in our lives. We are shining that light so that those around us are pointed towards Him.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
“Where your heart is, there your treasure will be also.” It’s the other way around. Your heart follows your treasure. If you put your treasure into the things of the world - into trying to acquire financial gain, at all costs, your heart will follow. If you put your treasure into recreation and entertainment, your heart will follow. If you put your treasure into the kingdom of God and seek to please Him and Him only, your heart will follow.
So contentment isn’t a matter with being content with your situation in life and never trying to improve it. It’s a matter of being content with what you have — but realizing that as humans, we will always try to improve, no matter how happy we are. If we don’t, we have given up on life.
To be dependent for contentment upon whether the economy is doing well or not, whether you are in good health or not, and whether everything in your life is going well or not, you are living in bondage to the circumstances around you. Life is filled with problems and uncertainties, so living in that type of life isn't showing real contentment. Real contentment involves having the eternal perspective. It frees you from circumstances as the basis for all happiness and joy.
Contentment is not based on what you have; it is based on how you choose to view life. It is an issue of the heart.
I found a quote that seemed like a great summary on how we view what God has blessed us with. I changed a few words and added a little emphasis.
"I believe that’s why tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament. Maybe God doesn’t want us to just pay Him off with a 10% gift in the collection plate, then feel like the rest is ours to squander and do with what we please. He wants us to realize that it is ALL His. He owns iT ALL; you just manage it for Him. An outsider ought to be able to look at your checkbook (or at our bank statement) and tell who your Master is!"
Godliness WITH contentment is GREAT GAIN. Let's strive to live out this truth found in God's Word! He knows what is best for us!
“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” - Dale Carnegie