Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 6:3-8
Some years ago, I heard someone describe the sixth chapter of Paul’s first letter to Timothy as instructions to the poor [v1-2], instructions to the rich [v3-10 & 17-19], and instructions to their minister [v11-16 & 20-21].
Paul now turns his attention to issues of money and material wealth. The false teachers at the church in Ephesus used the church as a means of making easy money. Their motives were wrong and Paul described them as destitute of truth [verse 5].
Paul uses this opportunity to present four basic truths about money. Today we will take a look at the first of these basic truths:
Wealth does not bring Contentment [verse 6]. It is so sad to see people eaten up with the desire to make money and deceived by thinking that money will bring contentment. The real gain is not godliness with money but godliness with contentment [verse 6]. Money cannot buy contentment. The writer of Hebrews links covetousness and discontent. Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” [Hebrews 13:5]. “Encouraging coveting is a major national industry; we call it advertising”
[J. John]. It is impossible to be covetous and contented at the same time.
Contentment does not depend upon how much a person has or does not have. Writing about being contented Paul says, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” [Philippians 4:11-13]. Contentment is an inner sufficiency that keeps us at peace despite our outward circumstances.
One of the wealthiest men in history, Solomon, recognised that money is a hard taskmaster, when he wrote, “Whoever has money never has money enough” [Ecclesiastes 5:12]. He summed up the meaningless of just making money by saying, “Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labours. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere” [Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 NLT].
Why do you think that godliness with contentment is great gain? What does contentment look like to you? Would you say that you are a contented person?
Read 1 Timothy 6:8. Would our lives be more contented if we took this verse to heart and simplified our life style?
Why is God so against covetousness?