“But godliness with contentment is great gain, 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. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” I Timothy 6:6-11
I plan on writing a series of blog posts on the preceding Scripture. For now, let’s focus on verse 8: ”But if we have food and clothing, with these things we will be content.”
Contentment – Mental or emotional satisfaction with things as they are; peace of mind.
For the modern American, contentment is a foreign idea. We are the culture of bigger is better and he who dies with the most toys wins. The problem for the Christian is that the American Dream is NOT compatible with Biblical Christianity.
In the Bible we read about self-denial, sacrifice, and persecution for the sake of Jesus Christ. In America we hear things like “God desires for you to be blessed and wealthy!” Somewhere along the line, Christians have replaced their Bible with Your Best Life Now. We’ve traded in the blessed hope of the life to come for the largest SUV payment we can afford. We’ve forgotten about the suffering, torment, and punishment Christ endured for His people and reimagined that He hung on a tree so that I can retire early.
I’ve lived in America my entire life. I’ve never known what it means to go hungry. I’ve never experienced sleeping out in the cold. I’ve never even slept in a house that didn’t have air conditioning and heat! If I’m hungry, I go to the kitchen or to a restaurant. If I need clothes, I can purchase them new or buy used at a thrift store. Even though I have everything I could ever need, I still struggle with being content. Instead of making excuses and trying to twist the Bible to say something it doesn’t, we need to repent of our love of money and our constant desire for more.
Do you struggle with God’s provision in your life? Do you desire to always have the newest, bigger, better? Why is it so hard for us, as Christians, to be content with what the Lord has provided?