I have a question for you, at this moment right now, what do you think would make you more content? I’m sure a lot ran through your mind. Maybe more money? More freedom? Better health? Like me, we’ve all been in that place that thinks, “Well if I just had _____”, then I’d be more happy and content.
Let’s take money for example. Statistics reveal that most people feel they need about 10% more to be content. But here’s the kicker, the study showed this was true no matter what your income is! So, whether you make $60,000 a year or $300,000, most people said just 10% more would make them content. If you’re always craving 10% more, how will you ever be content?
Where do we find this secret of contentment, especially in our finances? In 1 Timothy 6:6-10 the Apostle Paul tells us where true wealth (great gain) is found. Paul says,“Godliness with contentment is great gain.” True wealth, according to Paul, is godliness with contentment.
Godliness means “piety or devoutness.” It means walking closely with God. It’s not just an outward appearance but an inward walk with God. Contentment in the classical Greek understanding means, “a perfect condition of life, in which no aid or support is needed” (Thayer). I like to say that contentment is being satisfied with all God has given you.
Okay so we know what contentment is but why should we be content? Is there anything wrong with getting and wanting more? No, nothing is necessarily wrong with “more” but is it ever enough? The truth is, we came into this world with nothing and we will leave it with nothing. All you’ve accomplished and built up for your life will not go with you and will be left for someone else. And the more we think about that and remember that, we’ll begin to find contentment.
I know it is easier said than done. In our culture today, especially here in the Bay Area, we hear the opposite everyday. The message is, you never have enough! Someone always seems to be doing better and has more than you. Social media doesn’t help us because we often compare our lives to others. That leads to us dreaming about all the ways we can get that house, that car, that lifestyle and before long, we are consumed and unhappy. This happens everytime we replace contentment with covetousness.
How can we resist this? In 1 Timothy 6:9-10 Paul also says that the pursuit of wealth can be a dangerous trap. Paul uses words like; want, love, desire and eagerness to address the deep places and longings of our hearts. Paul is drilling down into the attitudes, mindsets and motivations we have when we constantly think about riches, which all comes down to a trap of temptation.
We know the core issue for us all is the condition of our hearts and our relationship with the Lord. Contentment at its core is a spiritual issue. You can be fully content today, because your deepest need has been met in Jesus Christ. Jesus found you, rescued you and gave you salvation and abundant life, what more do you need? It’s so important that we remember that daily. See, it doesn’t matter if you are rich, middle class or poor, is your heart content with all that God has already given you?
So I want to leave you with this question: “Is what God already provided for you enough?”