But godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).
Contentment is gain! Really? To see how most of us live, it would be easy to think it is discontentment that brings great gain. It is the demanding shopper who seems to get special treatment. The talk show host who reminds us of all that is wrong with the world seems to get the highest ratings. The advertisements that imply we are “less than” if we do not buy their product seem to generate the most sales. Our economy seems to run on stimulating discontentment. And, the constant presence in our lives of people expressing their discontentment is contagious… it begins to infect us.
And then we read Paul’s counter-cultural advice.
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4: 11 – 13).
Jesus, we thank you for living a life in which you were contented to be without so we could gain much. Help us to be, like Paul, ready learners of the secret of living contentedly in an evil and corrupt world. Grant us that eternal perspective that always reminds us that a person’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions (Luke 12: 15).
By Charles Fleming – Orlando, Florida