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Contentment Is Godly

1 Timothy 6:6-8
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (NIVUK)

God is never restless or frustrated.  On the other hand, sinful human beings are inclined either to strive for what they have not got or be dissatisfied with what they have.  After having exposed false teachers whose godless beliefs matched their callous, greedy and self-centred behaviour (1 Timothy 6:3-5), Paul draws a pen-picture of the attitude of the godly teacher.  The closer people get to God, the more content they are.  Like weaned children who are content near to their mother, true believers feel most at home with their heavenly Father (Psalm 131:1-2).  Their contentment is not the product of achievement but the evidence of knowing that they are loved and safe and being willing to commit everything to the Lord.  That is the quality we need in a spiritual leader.

Inner contentment is the peace of God.  Philippians 4:4-9 shows how confidence in the Lord is expressed by believing prayer and obedience.  The God of peace is evidently present with those who trust in His provision.  They trust Him for food and clothing (Matthew 6:31-34).  They know that all they have has been loaned to them by the Lord – they are trustees of His grace.  There is no need to be anxious or frustrated when God is in command.
The essential truth is that we were born with nothing except our bodies; we can take nothing with us when we die and we also leave our bodies behind.  Everything we have during our lives comes to us through the graciousness of God.  If we have something to eat and wear, should we not be content with that?  But sinful human nature wants something more or better or different or newer, forgetting that the Lord has promised to provide for His people.
Living in a godly way is a matter of trust.  We should believe that He will provide, and that His provision is good, and will be suitable for our needs.  We should relax in His love, knowing that He will supply all our needs according to His riches (Philippians 4:19).  There is no other route to contentment.  So when our inner instincts get out of control and demand to be contented, when the world lures us into Christless contentment, or when the devil lies to us that contentment is found anywhere other than in Jesus – resist those temptations.  Know that the God who made you will provide all you need to serve Him until He takes you.  Let contentment be the evidence of your godliness.

God of all love and gracious provision. Thank You for entrusting me with so many gifts to enable me to live and serve You. I am sorry for the times when I grumble and get frustrated, showing that I do not really trust You in the details of life. Please help me to see everything around me as evidence of Your love and care; and please help me to enjoy what You give to me with thankfulness. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams