In Christ There is Godliness and Contentment
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. (I Timothy 6:6-8, ESV)
This is a difficult world and culture to attain and possess contentment. The world says we should look for bigger and better. That our “old” is not good enough. We need new and improved. That we should not be content with our body type, facial features, spouse, salary, house, car, job, career and so on. If everything and everyone around you is discontent how can you be content?
Discontent is defined as a restless craving for something one does not have as in malcontent. It’s a feeling of discontent with one’s possessions, status, or situation: lack of contentment: a sense of grievance: dissatisfaction. Wasn’t it William Shakespeare who wrote, “the winter of our discontent”? What lengthy seasons of discontent we experience in this world and on this journey home!
On the other hand, contentment is defined as a state of peaceful happiness; a state of satisfaction; pleased and satisfied with what one has or is and not desiring more. The complete opposite of discontent.
Satan pushes and promotes dissatisfaction. He uses the devil to plant seeds of discontent because that results in our being in a continual state of wandering, impatience, waiting for the next best sale or thing, unhappiness, hate, being in financial debt and indebted to others, stressed, and distressed. Satan does not care that discontent breeds desperation, jealousy, envy, anger, and sin. Or that we will spend our nights sitting on the side of the bed worried and sick at heart. When we lack contentment, nothing is good enough or sufficient.
Paul was an excellent mentor for young Timothy and the subject of growing in godliness through the state and attitude of contentment is timeless. Paul gives Timothy a perspective we all need to be reminded of: we didn’t bring anything into this world and we will take absolutely nothing from it when we go. We’ve heard the joke about the man who died and as each mourner came to say their goodbyes, they put some cash into the coffin. When the very last person came up, he collected all the cash and wrote a check saying the deceased could cash it once he got to heaven. Paul tells Timothy since we can take nothing with us why spend our life trying to amass things which will only rust rot and decay? Putting so much effort and energy into building kingdoms or mounting up material goods when we will only leave it all behind. Godliness and contentment is gained by our dependency on Christ and not in material possessions.
The longer we live a spiritually dependent life in Christ the more we harness the quality of contentment; the more we become like Jesus and Paul. Life in Christ brings a different perspective, our desperation for more or better and bigger is exchanged with the contentment Jesus possessed when he was on earth. Our peace of mind is no longer found in things or people but in knowing Christ and trusting in God.
We can possess contentment when we cease using the world and our possessions as our measuring stick for happiness and prosperity. Jesus offers a life of mental ease, freedom from strife, freedom from anxiety and stress, and rest for the soul. Relationship with Jesus and not things give our soul the contentment we lack struggle to experience.
Jesus, this world will run us ragged in every sense. Being content is impossible when we let the world, or the devil control us. We pray for the blessedness of contentment that can only be found through living life in you. Amen
Do I struggle with being content? Why or why not? If yes, what will I do to change it?
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