Contentment As Wealth1
Contentment As Wealth
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.
1 Timothy 6:6 (NASB)
My father bought a small farm from my grandfather back when he was first married. He reared five children and sought to train them to work hard and accept responsibility. In his latter years, he piddled around with a few head of cattle and spent a lot of time sitting under the big oak tree in his yard. It was in that setting that a discussion took place that significantly impacted my life.
I suggested that the old pickup truck he was using might need to be retired. It had dents on top of dents.
“It runs alright,” he said.
After some silence I ventured another suggestion, “You really enjoy watching the ball games on TV. Why don’t we get you a better TV with a bigger screen?”
“I can see that one alright,” he answered.
We sat for a while as I studied his responses. Neither he nor I had a lot of money, but either could have afforded my suggested upgrades.
“You seem very content. You always have been. How did you reach that? It seems that most of the world can’t wait to get the newest and best widget.”
He laughed. “A long time ago, I just decided to like what I have instead of wanting what I don’t have.”
I realize that such an attitude taken to an extreme could impede progress and lead to non-production, but there is a correcting truth there that can offer freedom from materialistic bondage. In a world gone mad over bigger and better, appreciation for what we have has been lost. Contentment is seen as passive thus negative. But the lack of contentment creates turmoil in the soul and consequently sells lots of medications.
Sadly, as the apostle instructs Timothy, some use a form of religion to get gain. They sell their ministry by appealing to the consumer demands of the listeners. They promise financial gain for those who follow their particular instructions. People who have not found their supply in God’s faithfulness are susceptible to promises of gaining earthly wealth. The unscrupulous minister takes advantage of this weakness and exploits them. Both the preacher and the people...
...who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
1 Timothy 6:9 (NASB)
The key to contentment is a consciousness of the Father’s love which assures that circumstances do not determine the level of our joy. As we share his life, we rejoice in his faithful provision of our needs. Since we no longer need possessions as trophies of our significance, we are free to be grateful for what we have and to ask for what we need. Materialism is at odds with contentment. Money can't buy contentment; it is more valuable than all the world’s riches. And it is ours free just because we are his children.
Maybe today would be the right time to decide to be grateful for what we have, rather than yearn for what we don’t. Join me.