“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
Paul says he has learnt the “secret of being content in any and every situation,” (Philippians 4:12) and here he declares that being content is great gain.
How do we find contentment? Paul encourages his readers to think about those things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:12). If we’re always thinking about those situations which upset us and cause us to complain or grumble, we aren’t going to find contentment. So the first step towards contentment is to guard our thoughts.
Several verses later Paul tells his readers, “to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). So the second step towards contentment is to believe that God will provide for us. God is eager to bless. “He richly provides.” Sometimes he is more eager to bless us than we are to receive. Receiving from God makes us vulnerable and places us in the position of being children who are unable to reciprocate appropriately. We think we can provide for ourselves, or at least repay those who help us. Yet, we can never repay God for his generosity towards us.
God’s complaint against the church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) was that they thought they were rich and didn’t need God, but he tells them they are spiritually poor. God is more than willing to provide, but are we willing to receive?
Perhaps it’s time to revise our thinking. Instead of thinking about what we need to make us content, we would do better to thank God who meets “all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).