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  • Writer's pictureNate Miller

Godliness With Contentment (1 Timothy 6:6-7)

But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. —1 Timothy 6:6-7

Watching HGTV is trouble for my soul.

I don’t know about you, but when I finish watching, my level of satisfaction with my own home has decreased not increased.

I begin saying things like, “Wouldn’t an open floor plan really make this space more usable?” “What about some crown molding?” “We definitely need to increase the amount of shiplap in this place!”

Paul gives us some wisdom that is helpful for us whether it’s HGTV, a trip to Target, or “keeping up with the Joneses” that has stirred up discontentment in us. In 1 Timothy 6, Paul has just finished giving young Pastor Timothy instructions to guide the church at Ephesus including how to deal with false teachers who are seeking personal, material gain. Timothy’s mindset, and our mindset, ought to be different:

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.

The core statement here is “godliness with contentment is great gain.” This is supported by the reasoning “for we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” These material possessions will pass away; this building I call home is not my true home. It’s not my forever home no matter how beautiful, cozy, or shiplapped it is. So where does contentment come from?

Contentment is not about what you have, it is about who you have.

Godliness is the sanctifying work of Christ. As Paul states in 1 Timothy 4:10, after encouraging Timothy to train himself in godliness, he says, “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all people; especially of those who believe” (emphasis added). In this way, a pursuit of godliness is a pursuit of the living God. We have put our hope on Him, and the pursuit of Him is the center of all our ways and all our days.

To do this “with contentment” is to do it in such a way that you are finding your joy, sufficiency, and satisfaction in Christ and not in these earthly things. At the end of this letter in 1 Timothy 6:17, Paul says, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”

True contentment will never come through what you have—you will waste your life striving after material things in the pursuit of contentment—it can only come through who you have. Believer, the living God has given himself to you. That is great gain!


For Reflection

  1. When/Where do you find your heart pulled toward material things? (HGTV, Target, Joneses, etc.)

  2. What is your understanding of the statement: “contentment is not about what you have, it is about who you have”?

  3. Do you see the gospel as a means for material gain, or do you see Jesus as the gift of the gospel?

  4. How can you find joy in Jesus today? Do you need to sing, read the Word, or pray to awaken your joy in Him?

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