“Contentment keeps you from chasing fads and fancies that promise more and more fulfilment but deliver nothing.”—Charles R. Swindoll
Life itself isn’t all that complicated; we make it complicated. By focusing on nonessentials instead of essentials, we lose our way and forget our priorities. When we compare ourselves with others, we never measure up. When we take our cues from our culture, enough is never enough. When we strive for more, always more, our level of stress reaches unhealthy extremes. Mix together these complications and nonessentials, and contentment sprouts wings and flies away. So many of us live in squirrel cages of never-ending pursuits. The results are tragic: disappointment, dissatisfaction, and self-centeredness. Becoming a faithful and generous follower of Christ does not depend on our accumulation of money as much as it does on our attitude toward money. As we will discover in this lesson, the less we depend on material things to make us happy, the more likely we are to model generosity.
Hilarious generosity begins with contentment. It’s being satisfied with and grateful for all we have and are able to experience. We must understand what contentment is...and what it is not. Let’s take some time to dig a bit deeper into the biblical definition of contentment and discover ways to hang on to it in a world that works so hard at taking it away.
The most formalized biblical teaching on contentment is embedded in Paul’s words to Timothy in the context of encouraging wealthy Christians not to trust in material possessions (1 Timothy 6:6, 17–19).
In that instruction, the seasoned apostle linked contentment with godliness, elevating contentment to the highest virtue.
The net gain of combining a commitment to godliness while fostering a genuine sense of contentment brings about great spiritual, emotional, and physical benefits expressed through a generous and spiritually prosperous life!
Here are some lessons we learn from Paul’s instruction to those who are wealthy.
Lesson one: Guard against pride. Few things are more intolerable than a person who has much wealth and parades it for all to see.
Lesson two: Don’t find security in wealth. We mustn’t trust in our money. We’ve all watched the stock market rise and fall and riches vanish like morning dew.
Lesson three: Maintain the right perspective. All things are given by God for us to enjoy and to use to benefit others, for His glory.