Trending Topics      #Gospel   #Church   #Pastor   #Jesus   

A Christian’s Contentment

8 minutes to read

Who does not think about money? Money is necessary in almost every area of our lives. Can you imagine a world without monetary transactions? It is as if we breathe in and breathe out money daily. It is true that we need it. But the question is, how much of it do we need? How much money is truly enough for us to live a life of satisfaction? When do you think you will come to a point where you say, ‘I have enough’?

Today, with a lot of platforms to earn income easily, making money or striving to become millionaires is the new trend. The chief end of man has now become to make money and enjoy it forever. That is how most of the world thinks today. But, what does the Bible say? Is there any guidance from God on how we should relate to money? Does the Bible encourage us to become rich or does it warn us about the riches?

The Bible indeed talks about money. But we see more warnings in the Bible regarding money than encouragement. Though money is not inherently sinful, it can become a means to sin and sinful living. There are a few verses in the Bible where warnings are given to those who love money and desire to be rich. It would be best if we heeded those warnings and were on alert.

The love of money is one of many sinful behaviours.

The Apostle Paul writing to Timothy in two of his letters talks about money. Advising Timothy about what kind of people should lead the church, Paul first gives a list of positive behaviours and then says that the elder or overseer must “not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money” (1 Timothy 3:3). Later he gives the reason why. He says, “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” (1 Timothy 6:10). Paul does not say that money itself is evil but the love of money leads to all kinds of unethical, immoral, and sinful activities.

A person who loves money more than God eventually rejects faith because his love for money will entice him into the world and Satan is actively seeking such people. Sadly many have fallen and many will fall into this trap. “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, …lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). The love of money is one of many sinful behaviours. It can make a man godless full of greed, pride, lust, and other sins. The Bible clearly warns believers to avoid such people.

Paul talking about false teachers and their lifestyle said that, “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving …deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Timothy 6:3–5). These false teachers have unhealthy cravings. Spencer notes, “The current enticement for the teachers is thinking that godliness is a means of gain, a means of livelihood, a way to earn a living or procure money.” How many “pastors” do we see today who stand behind the religious curtains to become prosperous. What we see behind the pulpits is just a façade, but what we see in their bank accounts is the reality. 

The Bible says, “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” (1 Timothy 6:9). Love of money only leads to downfall. It can blind a person to his own sins and lead him to destruction. The love of money being a sin leads people into other sins like pride, greed, covetousness, materialism, sensuality, and others.

Jesus when talking about money said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24). We can see that Jesus, in this comparison, puts money right beside God, that means that people can elevate money to heavenly heights and make it their “god.” It is a serious thing in the sight of God to make money an idol and worship it. So, how can we avoid and guard ourselves from this sin?

Contrary to what the world thinks, the Bible says, Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). We can observe two things here. One is that we must be content with whatever we have with us. By the way, it is a command, so disobeying is sinful. When some soldiers asked John the Baptist, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:14). John’s advice is to be content with whatever we rightfully earn.

Paul goes further and says that “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Timothy 6:5–8). Here Paul adds godliness to contentment in what we have and says that it is great gain. Godliness itself is gain for Christians and adding contentment to it will make it even greater. So, godliness with contentment is better than anything that this world offers. For this is lasting and truly satisfying.

A person who loves money more than God eventually rejects faith because his love for money will entice him into the world and Satan is actively seeking such people.

Matthew Henry observes that “wherever there is true godliness, there will be contentment.” “To be content is to be independent. He is the independent man who hangs on no created things for comfort, and has God for his portion, says Ryle. He also notes that “Such a man is the only one who is always happy. Nothing can come amiss or go wrong with such a man. Afflictions will not shake him, and sickness will not disturb his peace.” Those who have tasted the goodness of the Lord and His salvation will testify to it. Truly, our joy is not dependent on the things of this world. However, it is much more than that.

The other is that we have the presence of God with us. The God who saved us from our sins through Christ Jesus is with us. He is the ultimate person who gives us satisfaction, not money or anything else in this world. So, we have with us the God who is infinitely more valuable than earthly, perishable money. He is enough for us to be satisfied. He is an all-sufficient God.

Commenting on contentment, Ferguson says that it is a common term “among the ancient Greek philosophical schools of the Stoics and Cynics” and that in “their vocabulary, contentment meant self-sufficiency, in the sense of independence from changing circumstances.” However, he says, “But for Paul, contentment was rooted not in self-sufficiency but in Christ’s sufficiency (Phil. 4:13). Paul said that he could do all things—both being abased and abounding—in Christ.” If it is true for Paul, then it should be true for us too. Dear Christian, is Christ enough for you? Are you satisfied in Him?

If we truly are Christians, then we look less to this world and its riches to satisfy us. We will be occupied with our heavenly business of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever. We will not substitute God for riches, but we will be rich towards God in all the spiritual blessings that He offered to us in Christ Jesus who died on the cross for our sins. We care little about what we will possess in this passing world, for we are waiting to claim our eternal wealth in Christ. With that in mind, let us pursue godliness with contentment.

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994. Print.

J.C. Ryle.

Sinclair Ferguson.

Spencer, Aída Besançon. 1 Timothy: A New Covenant Commentary. Ed. Michael F. Bird and Craig Keener. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2013. Print. New Covenant Commentary Series.

Tim Keller.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter