What is the difference between a content person and a person who wants to be rich? Are you the rare person who is content with only the necessities for living? Why do we always want more and better things? To be honest, I struggle in the area of contentment. I think, if only I had this or that, then I will be happy. Do you struggle with contentment too?
The post called What is Godliness? explains what godliness is. The post called How To Train To Be Godly? describes how to train yourself for godliness and why. In this post, we will explore the benefit of being content with godliness. This post was challenging to write, and you may find it difficult to read.
Is Contentment the Evidence of Godliness?
1Timothy 6:6-8 states, “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 godliness with contentment is great gain” (1Tim.6:6). The context for this verse is because the false prophets thought being godly would help them get wealth. The Apostle Paul tells Timothy that he will have great gain when he is content and godly.
Webster’s dictionary defines contentment as being happy enough (satisfied) with what one has or is and not desiring something more or different. For example, Jesus was content with food and clothing, but can we? We also need a place to live, but do we need two or three places to live? We need a vehicle to get places, but do we need a Lamborghini? I learned that what you have must be cared for and maintained. I discovered that worldly things distract us from pure devotion and service to God because our commitments and possessions control how we spend our time and money. A higher-paying job often comes with more time commitments and stress that distracts from time with God and fellowship with other believers. The Apostle Paul wrote the following to Titus about worldly passions and purity in Titus 2:11-14:
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
When we believed and are saved from God’s wrath for sin through Jesus Christ, His Spirit, called the Holy Spirit, enters our hearts. The Holy Spirit helps us “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions” through His divine power so we can “live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives.” The Holy Spirit also purifies us as God’s possession, so we can do good works.
Can we remove all worldly things and activities from our lives and love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27)? Is it possible to give up watching ungodly television, or watching the depressing news, or movies that glorify wickedness? Yes, with the help of the Holy Spirit in us.
My husband and I decided to minimize our possessions and be content with less. The question you ask for each item you pick up is, “How does this bring value to my life.” Donate the things that will have more meaning to another person. Do you know how hard that is to do? I became so attached to what I have that I wonder if they are idols in my life. Reducing your possessions to only what is necessary for living or ministry is freeing. I find it interesting that Paul makes the distinction that “we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” What possessions are distracting you from pure devotion to God? 2Corinthians 11:3 states, “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” Ask God to search your heart and mind (Jer. 17:9-10) to reveal your idols and if your possessions are possessing you.
Contentment with godliness is a great gain because we are free to focus on loving God and serving Him and others. When we are content with minimal possessions, we gain independence, time, wealth, and so on. When we are content, we no longer have to spend our time and money on worthless, vain things that need maintenance and storage.
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