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What is contentment?


Published: Oct 03, 2013

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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.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men 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.

– I Timothy 6:6-10


What is contentment?  For some people contentment is having $20 in their pocket, a place where they can get a regular meal and somewhere to rest their head at night.  Their level of comfort is somewhat low.  On the other hand some people are never content.  They reach for the world and die trying to conquer it.

Many people, especially in the church, are driven by money.  They are consumed by it and as a result, it gets in the way of their faith and corrupts them.  Our Lord tells us in Scripture, “Where your treasure is there shall your heart be also.”  Some of us are familiar with the popular saying, “Show me where your money is and I’ll show you where your affections lie.”

Even though we all need money to take care of our daily needs, we allow the craving of it to destroy our relationships.  Many marriages, friendships, and relationships are destroyed because of money.

In this epistle to Timothy, Paul is seeking to right some wrongs in the young church

at Ephesus.  Timothy was the pastor at Ephesus.  There were, obviously, some people in the church at Ephesus who had the malady of loving money a bit too much.

Unfortunately, the situation at Ephesus is not necessarily isolated to that church.  It is a grave concern to the church in our own time.

Someone said that the average person thinks about money about 50 percent of the time while he or she is awake.  They are concerned with “how to get it, how to keep it, how to save it, how to spend it”.

Even thought the Apostle speaks harshly about the love of money and that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”, he is not saying that having money is wrong.  The Bible does not advocate that money is wrong.  In fact Scripture tells us in Deuteronomy 8:18, “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth...”

The accumulation of money becomes wrong when we hoard it and use it selfishly.  We should not think that we got our money on our own.

We don’t need all of the money in the world.  If we get it, what will we do with it when we get it?  We cannot take it to the grave with us.

Earlier in this article, I asked the question, “What is contentment?”  I am fascinated with the way this is handled in Proverbs 30:8-9: “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’  Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”  That speaks for contentment.

We who are in Christ Jesus should learn to be content.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.

It is good to have money because it helps us to take care of our daily needs, particularly food, and shelter.  However, it is not everything.  God gives us the ability to accumulate wealth.  We don’t have to kill ourselves trying to get it.  Those of us who are able to accumulate a little more should use it for good.   Always keep God in the picture.  He gives wealth and can take it.  Amen

• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor, The Lutheran Church of Nassau; P. O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bah.; phone: 323-4107; e-mail: lutheranchurch@coralwave.com; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.

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