“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” —1 Timothy 6:6
A story is told of a wealthy employer who overheard a worker declare, “If I only had $1,000 then I’d be content.” Realizing that money never brought him contentment, the employer said to his employee, “I’ve always wanted to meet someone who is perfectly content—so I’m going to grant your wish.”
He pulled out his checkbook and wrote the employee a check for $1,000. As he walked away, he overheard the employee mumble, “I should have asked for $2,000.”
That’s a truthful depiction of human nature. Settings, situations, stuff—none of it adds up to true fulfillment in our hearts. We know it, and yet we still vigorously pursue those things.
What is contentment?
First of all, contentment doesn’t just happen. It is something we learn and grow into. It’s a process, as Paul described: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:12).
Reading between the lines, God used seasons of hunger, need, and want to produce the good fruit of contentment in Paul’s life.
Contentment is about our hearts, not our accounts. Contentment doesn’t come from affluence. Settings and situations change.
Stuff rusts, spoils, deteriorates…or gets carried away. None of that lasts. Paul says it himself, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (1 Timothy 6:7).
Paul learned the blessings of contentment. And we can too. Contentment is a choice, choosing to live a life rooted in and reaching for eternity. As God used trials and tribulations in Paul’s life to produce contentment, what sort of things might He be utilizing in your life today?
My prayer for this week:
Lord, I have you. I have your promises. I have your faithfulness. I have your grace, strength, and wisdom. In you, I have more than enough! Please help me learn the secret of contentment as Paul did, so that in any and every situation I might be content.