I TIMOTHY 6:6-8: “A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have. We didn’t bring anything into the world, and we can’t take anything out of it. As long as we have food and clothes, we should be satisfied.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: When was the last time you watched a commercial that promoted “contentment”? Wouldn’t it be strange to hear the announcer say – “You don’t really need a new TV. Your old one will do just fine! Why, in all honesty, your old TV will probably even last longer, so save your money and be content!” I guarantee that you will never hear this commercial. Our entire economy and culture is based on built in obsolescence and discontent.
Throughout Paul’s letter to young Timothy he has exhorted him to both live and to teach the principles of a godly life. Yet, in his closed remarks he warns Timothy of a common pitfall. A godly life can easily be derailed by discontent. He reminds Timothy that when we entered this life we did not have any possessions, and contrary to what many of the Eastern religions taught, when we die we cannot take anything with us. So what is the answer – learn to be content! Jesus put it this way,
- “He told the people, “Be careful to guard yourselves from every kind of greed. Life is not about having a lot of material possessions.” (Luke 12:15 GW)
And Paul reminds Timothy,
- “But people who want to get rich keep falling into temptation. They are trapped by many stupid and harmful desires which drown them in destruction and ruin. Certainly, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people who have set their hearts on getting rich have wandered away from the Christian faith and have caused themselves a lot of grief.” (1 Timothy 6:9-10 GW)
It is not money, nor is it possessions, that are evil within themselves. We all need money to live on, and we need a home to live in. So surely Paul was not advocating that Timothy live on the streets under a vow of poverty, eschewing all worldly possessions. Rather, Paul was reminding Timothy that godliness flows out of a heart that is directed to only one thing, and this was not really a “thing” – but the “person” of our Lord Jesus Christ! We cannot set our hearts on God while we clamor after the riches and possessions of this world. We can only grow in godliness as we walk in singleness of heart, and in contentment regarding the passing and fading riches this world has to offer.
So how are we to view these riches and possessions. Paul gives instructions for those who have been blessed with an abundance from the Lord.
- “Tell those who have the riches of this world not to be arrogant and not to place their confidence in anything as uncertain as riches. Instead, they should place their confidence in God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. Tell them to do good, to do a lot of good things, to be generous, and to share. By doing this they store up a treasure for themselves which is a good foundation for the future. In this way they take hold of what life really is.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19 GW)
The issue is the direction and motivation of our heart. If our heart is directed to the Lord, we will walk in both contentment and generosity. If our heart is directed toward the fading glory of this life, we will spend all our time and energy trying to acquire more and more, never stopping to think of the foolishness of this pursuit!
- “…A rich man had land that produced good crops. He thought, ‘What should I do? I don’t have enough room to store my crops.’ He said, ‘I know what I’ll do. I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones so that I can store all my grain and goods in them. Then I’ll say to myself, “You’ve stored up a lot of good things for years to come. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! I will demand your life from you tonight! Now who will get what you’ve accumulated?’ That’s how it is when a person has material riches but is not rich in his relationship with God.” (Luke 12:16-21 GW)
Lord, set my heart free from covetousness and grant me the grace I need to live in contentment. Let my heart be fully directed toward You and Your Kingdom. Help me to give thanks each and every morning for all that You have provided. And may I live a life that is generous and filled with good deeds, not because I need to impress You or others, but solely because Your love is transforming my heart and life! Thank you today for all that You have provided!
In Jesus Name!