There is great gain in godliness with contentment.

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-7

1 Timothy 6 and Luke 12 offer a comprehensive look on the Christians responsibility as it relates to possessions and money. After studying both of these passages, I rest on the single phrase “there is great gain in godliness with contentment.” Godliness with contentment, not just one or the other. Here are my thoughts:

OUR CONTENTMENT IS SENSIBLE AND REASONABLE.

Like it says in 1 Tim 6: 7 – we brought nothing into this world and will take nothing out of it. We will leave this world without care, so why spend our time in this world with anxiety? God promises not only to provide our daily bread but He blesses us with “everything to enjoy” and “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”

SO WHAT IS GODLINESS WITHOUT CONTENTMENT?

Void? Perhaps. Certainly it may be hypocrisy, idolatry, and folly. It is to be like a Pharisee following the letter of the Law but not the heart of it. It is like the rich young man that comes to Jesus as a follower of all of the commandments but is unable to give away his possessions to obtain eternal life. It is to be like those who have no faith in Christ and concern themselves daily about tomorrow. (Luke 12:29-31) In Christ, we are not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewal of our minds. We should think differently and treat earthly possessions differently because of the wisdom of God in us. (Romans 12:1-2)

AND WHAT IS CONTENTMENT WITHOUT GODLINESS?

Complacency.  It is not enough to abstain from setting our hopes on the uncertainty of riches. As Christians, we are to redirect our strivings, our time, and our earthly possessions towards a certain hope – namely the promises found in God through Christ. As Paul says to Timothy,  we are “to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that [we] may take hold of that which is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:18-19)

OUR CONTENTMENT IS A VESSEL OF GOD’S LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

I believe that today God uses our contentment coupled with godliness as a distinctive light among the darkness of anxiety, riches, self-propelled “security,” and materialism. I believe that a Christian displaying God in word and deed (godliness) and satisfied in his lot whether abundant or sparse (contentment) could compel unbelievers to faith in God.

As we strive towards godliness with deeper faith in God and understanding of the Gospel, contentment should rule in our hearts. And, as our lives are governed by the King of kings, the Gospel will be displayed marvelously both as an encouragement to believers and a compelling story of our redemption among unbelievers.