Today’s Thoughts – 24 November 2020
Thanksgiving is in just a few days. The plans are being set, the people are shopping for the food for the great meal on Thursday that the family will partake in. Yet, the day after Thanksgiving – rather, the day of Thanksgiving (maybe even the week of Thanksgiving) – is marked as the busiest shopping time of the year. How is it that we go from being a thankful and grateful people to a discontented people that we must have more stuff? Let us think about contentment today…
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Contentment does not come from wealth
We must first realize that contentment does not come from wealth. Paul is telling Timothy about false teachers again in the preceding verses and how they spread false doctrine so that they can gain more money from their people. They say that “gain is godliness.”
Yet, God says “godliness with contentment is great gain.” We must first be right with God. If we are right with Him, then we will be content with whatever He has blessed us with (Philippians 4:11). And this, in turn, is great gain – greater than any monetary value we could have.
You might get that item on sale this week. And as we head into Christmas, you might get that gift you were wanting. But the happiness with that item will only last for a period of time, and you will no longer be content again. Contentment in God is everlasting and will never fade away – it is true contentment.
True contentment comes from godliness in the heart, not wealth in the hand.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
Wealth and things do not last
In context, we are talking about false teachers making money off of their false doctrine. They do it for the money. But the money will not last. Money comes and money goes. It should be looked at as a commodity, not a goal.
I’ve witnessed our own bank account rise and fall throughout the years. I understand that as money comes in, money must also go out. Whatever you make at your job, you cannot take it with you when you pass on. Whatever items you accumulate here on earth, you cannot take with you to the other side.
This is why it is important to not be fixated on *things* – because they will not last.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
God meets our basic needs
As a Christian who is in the will of God, you will have nothing to worry about when it comes to your finances or the items you accumulate. Because you understand that as you seek God’s will and as you seek His face, he will provide for you everything you need (Matthew 6:33).
The needs that God provides for us should also provide contentment for us. If we distract our lives with the many items we can accumulate, we will no longer seek God, but we will rather seek more items or more money to buy items with. If we remove everything we don’t need, God will still provide our needs, and we should still be content with what He provides.
A man is wealthy in proportion to the number of things he can afford to do without.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Sin is the result of a desire for wealth
When Paul says “they that *will* be rich,” he is not saying that anyone who has a lot of money. The word “will” means to have a desire to or it is your will to do something. Those who desire to be rich, or focus on gaining money or monetary value, have a tendency to fall into temptation and sin.
Paul says that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” He didn’t say that money is the root of all evil, but that the **love of money** is the root of all evil. You can witness this in our society today. Pornography and prostitution a lucrative businesses; drug abuse is strongly empowered by money; power in the business and financial world is tied to wealth.
When we get so fixated on gaining more money, more items, and more space in our lavish houses, we make our goals about gaining more money and can fall into the trap of loving and desiring money above all other things which leads to sin. Money then becomes our god replacing the only true God.
Money, wealth, and items are not evil; it is our heart that is deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). If we keep our heart right with God and seek Him, we will be content with what we have – what God has blessed us with – even if that is only the things we need at the time. And we will keep ourselves from loving and desiring money, wealth, and items over God Himself. Keep this in your mind this week of Thanksgiving and this Christmas season.