1 Timothy 6:6-8, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
Almost everyone these days has two locks on the front door of their house. One is the door knob and the other the dead bolt. Sometimes those two locks have different keys. Both of those keys are needed if a person is to unlock and open the door. In our study verses, we find the Apostle Paul instructing Timothy concerning “contentment.” The Apostle gives Timothy at least three keys in these three verses to open the door to contentment, which are:
(1) “Godliness”! By paying close attention to verse 6, we can conclude that “godliness” can exist without “contentment”, but it seems very difficult, if not impossible, for contentment to be found without “godliness.” In Philippians 4:11-13, the Apostle writes to the Macedonian brethren about the same subject. In these verses the Apostle points their minds to the only One Who is able to give contentment, Jesus Christ. When the Apostle Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” he is declaring that Christ is the very foundation to contentment. If anyone is to be content, they need a near fellowship with Jesus.
(2) Remembering what we deserve (“having food and raiment” is more than we deserve)! When we consider what we deserve, which is an everlasting burning hell because of our sins and transgressions, having food and raiment becomes a great blessing from the Lord. If we go through this life barely having enough to scrape by, and yet have a hope of glory because of God’s grace, we are rich beyond imagination. Anything that we receive other than the eternal judgement we deserve is by God’s grace. And for that, we should be thankful!
(3) Remembering the peace and joy of contentment (“great gain”)! Discontentment is and will always be associated with turmoil and perplexity. Contentment is and will always be associated with peace and joy. With that in mind, we should all be more motivated to seek the One who is and is able to provide contentment, the Lord. And be discouraged from seeking those things which don’t. In 1 Timothy 6:5, Paul speaks of those who thought “great gain is godliness.” The Apostle disagreed and exhorted Timothy to remember that great gain was found in a Godly life being content with what you have. How often we forget about the discontentment and rigorous dead-end efforts of trying to find contentment in worldly goods, and at the same time forget about the peace and joy found in just being close to the Lord. May God help us to remember where we find contentment and the joy and happiness found in it.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I realize the words in 1 Timothy were written many years ago, but the truth which is found in God’s inspired and preserved Word are just as true today. Would you like to have more contentment in your life? Use these three keys: close fellowship with Jesus (Godliness), remembering what we deserve, and remembering the peace and joy we experience by being content; and I pray the door of contentment opens to you.
Elder Ronnie B. Loudermilk