But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:6-10).
This one line stands out to me: “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
That line jumps off the page because I wonder: Will we? Will we be content with just food and clothing?
Every time I pull my car into our two-car garage, I see boxes lining the walls. They are filled with clothes we are not wearing, sporting equipment we are not using, and decorations that are only decorating the boxes into which they've been stuffed.
When I drive through neighborhoods, I see cars sitting in driveways because they've filled their garages with exercise equipment and building materials they can't cram into their houses.
When I drive down city streets, I see housing development after housing development, in part, because we are not satisfied with our current living situation.
When I go to the grocery store, I usually leave with more than I need and can’t remember the last time I didn’t stand in line to check out (even with the self-check-out lanes).
The ads that show up on my social media pages and repeatedly appear on tv to incessantly challenge my notion of contentment.
Don’t take this to mean I have anything against using your garage as a workshop or workout room. I have no problems with community growth, buying groceries to feed our families, or companies promoting their products. My concern, however, is the difficulty we have in experiencing the great gain of godliness in contentment.
Contentment is a great challenge for all who live in the land of plenty. We like that "plenty," okay! More, however, is better. Enough is seldom enough.
It’s only natural, isn't it?
It's the way of the modern world, correct?
Not according to Jesus and his followers.
The call to live simply and with contentment is not easy. I am not there, but I’m trying. I’ve been attempting to live simply for many years. I have made some progress. I have fewer boxes in my garage. I have less stuff in my attic. I’m trying to be content with my iPhone 7. I still drive a 2007 Toyota Highlander with almost 250,000 miles on it. I’m trying to live simply and with contentment, but I’m not where I want to be.
You may share a similar battle. Don’t give up. Live simply. Be content with what you have. Trust the Lord to show you the “great gain.”