Whenever Christmas comes around, I begin to think about what gift I would like to buy for my dad. His birthday is coming soon as well, and I will begin to rack my brain for an idea for the perfect gift for him. It is difficult for two reasons: first, he will be eighty-two and has received many gifts. It’s hard to come up with something new and exciting. Second, my dad would tell you that he doesn’t “want” anything. He always tells me that he has everything he needs.
Today I read, “But godliness with contentment is great gain” (I Timothy 6:6). What a powerful, yet simple statement! I want his to characterize my life. I feel like we are living in a world today that is “content” with very little. I believe the reason for that is the beginning of that verse. “Contentment” begins with “godliness.” Godliness simply means having an attitude of respect and admiration for God. If my heart is fully surrendered to God and what He wants for my life, then the “things” of this world will have little appeal to me.
If, however, I am not walking with God, and I am not fully surrendered to God, then contentment will not be a part of my life. The verse is very clear, but what would happen if we turned it around? If the verse read, “But ungodliness without contentment is great loss …” it would also be true. If you find yourself constantly discontent with your job, your family, your money, your “things” … you might examine your walk with God. Everything flows from our walk with God.
If we are faithfully walking with Him, contentment will naturally follow. If we are not walking with God, it will not matter how much we have, or how many “things” we own; we will not be satisfied. In our nation today, we have more affluence than at any time before, but we have far more discontentment than ever before. I hear of athletes who are making millions of dollars, holding out to make a few more millions. I see politicians who are constantly trying to get more power, and still unsatisfied with their positions. I see people with more technology and gadgets, yet still waiting for the next “new” thing to come.
Today is a good time to examine your “contentment” level. If you are never satisfied, it has nothing to do with the “things” you have, or don’t have. It has everything to do with your character – whether it is godly, or not. I want my life to demonstrate godliness and contentment. I want to be happy with what God has given me and be content with Him.