“Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world… But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness… 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. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:6-7,9-11,17-19
Gain: an increase in wealth or resources; advantage acquired or increased; an increase in amount, magnitude, or degree. In a world of commerce and financial economy, we can narrow our perception of gain to the accumulation of financial wealth and material goods, when God’s view is vastly different. He Who owns all resources and bestows them on us for good pleasure says these are not what bring true life. Our craving, our desire, is to be for godliness, righteousness, the invisible but palpable qualities that are like Christ. With these in growing measure we will know contentment and satisfaction, and from this healthy place we will have the ultimate enjoyment of all God’s gifts.
Pursuing worldly wealth can lead us down a path of disordered love, greed, numbed sensitivity, and the world’s many snares, leaving us empty and wanting, even irreversibly ruined. Pursuing godliness and righteousness brings joy in generosity, and contentment in selfless, fruitful living and giving, and untold treasure that can never ruin, and lasts forever. Earthly riches are uncertain, fleeting, and temporary, while the Lord provides spiritual riches that are based on a firm foundation and last forever. (Matthew 6:19-21,24-25; Ephesians 1:3-4)
Is there evidence in my attitude, my measure of patience, my perception of ownership, that in my heart of hearts, I am nurturing a love for money? What am I accumulating in my mind, my space, my life, that breeds discontent, complaining, comparing, restlessness, a gnawing for more? Are the things in which I invest attached by worry and maintenance to this world, or do I intentionally sow the fruit of the Spirit into my involvement with others and the works of my hands, as an outgrowth of an increasing Christ-likeness God is working in me? Growth in godliness manifests itself in sanctified motivations and increasing contentment in the present age, even as we live and build for the age to come. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Good Father, identify my heart’s premier loves, and purify them. Sow in me deep contentment in knowing, praising, trusting, and loving You. Thank You for Your beautiful, rich gift of true life.