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Godliness With Contentment

Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6

Having contentment alone is not great gain. Without God, the people will still eventually lose out and perish, no matter how contented they can be. On the other hand, having godliness alone is not great gain too. There are many Christians, including pastors and church leaders, who are not contented with what the Lord has already given them. They are a very unhappy bunch of people.

In 1 Tim 6:6-19, Paul addressed an important message regarding this matter to three groups of people, namely:

  • the poor
  • the wanting-to-be rich
  • the rich

The Poor (1 Timothy 6:7-8)

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

Some of the poorest people are some of the happiest people on earth. They enjoy their work and the fruits of their labor. Whenever they have good food or new clothes, they are very thankful and grateful, easily satisfied and rejoicing always. Nothing is taken for granted. This blessedness of having the necessities (food, clothing and a place to rest) is from the Lord. They are able to enjoy sleep - peacefully and soundly every night.

But some of the poor people are not contented, wanting to be rich. They are always grumbling, and blaming others and God.

The Wanting-To-Be Rich (1 Timothy 6:9-16)

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

I urge you in the sight of God Who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus Who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, Whom no man has seen or can see, to Whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

There are many people who are not rich but they are desiring to be rich, they set their hearts on these riches and fall into temptation. They are tempted to do sinful things to fulfil their lustful desires to build up fortunes and foundations that are shaky. And their hearts are pierced with many sorrows - wanting and yet not getting what they wanted. Even when they do get what they wanted, there is always an unquenchable craving for more. Never satisfied.

It is not the possession of wealth that constitutes the danger. The real problem is that they are putting their trust and faith in riches instead of God.

In Mark 10:24, Jesus told His disciples: "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!"

The love of money is
a root of all evil. Not the money itself, but the love of it. This greed and lust is the source of many sins. Men commit all kinds of sin such as murder, cheating, lying, robbing etc., all for the love of money. For the love of thirty pieces of silver, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus. Many men of God have erred and wandered away from their faith because of their lust for money. They are no longer righteous as they no longer live by faith.

That's why Apostle Paul strongly warned his disciple Timothy: "O man of God, flee these things." Instead of chasing after money, seek after righteousness, and fight the good fight of faith. No man of God is exempted from this temptation.

The Christian life is a journey wherein our spirit man constantly struggles and wrestles against our flesh. We are to oppose the lusts that may eventually mislead and hurt us. We must consistently be reminded of our high calling in Christ Jesus and to walk worthy in it.

The Rich (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, Who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

God is not against
all rich people. In fact, He gives us all things to enjoy! Not all rich people are ungodly and haughty. Some of the rich are humble, trusting God and not in their riches. They are blessed to be blessings to others. They are good stewards of the wealth that God has given them, and they do good. Their wealth is being
used in the right manner for the right purposes.

Rich in good works, they lay up treasures in heaven by giving towards the good purposes of God. Money becomes a useful tool for them to help build the kingdom of God. They are godly and contented. They do not hold things so tightly that the things get hold of them instead. They live simply so that others can simply live. They worship God, not mammon.

In conclusion, I will quote the words of the beloved disciple whom Jesus loved from 1 John 2:15-17:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-- is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.