Posted by jerrywhite on Mar 25, 2012
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment.
1 Timothy 6:6 ESV
“Contentment is one of the most distinguishing traits of the godly person, because a godly person has his heart focused on God rather than on possessions or position or power. As William Hendriksen has observed so well, ‘The truly godly person is not interested in becoming rich. He possesses inner resources which furnish riches far beyond that which earth can offer.’
The words that are rendered as ‘content’ or ‘contentment’ in our English Bibles actually mean ‘sufficiency.’ The same word translated ‘contentment’ in 1 Timothy 6:6 is rendered ‘all that you need’ or ‘all sufficiency’ in 2 Corinthians 9:8. When God said to Paul, ‘my grace is sufficient for you’ (2 Corinthians 12:9), he used the same word translated elsewhere as ‘be content’ (see Luke 3:14, 1 Timothy 6:8, Hebrews 13:5).
The contented person experiences the sufficiency of God’s provision for his needs and the sufficiency of God’s grace for his circumstances. He believes God will indeed meet all his material needs and that he will work in all his circumstances for his good. That is why Paul could say, ‘godliness with contentment is great gain.’ The godly person has found what the greedy or envious or discontented person always searches for but never finds. He has found satisfaction and rest in his soul.
The idea of contentment in the Bible is most often associated with possessions or money, but there are other areas of life in which we need to be content. After possessions, probably the most common need is to learn contentment with our place in society or in the body of Christ. Still a third area that demands our practice of contentment is the providence of God in such varied circumstances as physical limitations and afflictions, privations, unpleasant neighbors or living situations, trials, and even persecutions. These circumstances often cause the natural man to murmur and complain and to question the goodness of God in his life.
The very first temptation in the history of mankind was the temptation to be discontent. God had provided for Adam and Eve far beyond all they needed. Genesis states, ‘God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.’ God withheld only one tree from Adam and Eve as a test of their obedience to him. And Satan used that one tree to tempt Eve by sowing seeds of discontent in her heart. He questioned the goodness of God to Eve, and that is exactly what discontent is—a questioning of the goodness of God.”
The Practice of Godliness, 105-107
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