“But godliness with contentment is great gain” 1 Timothy 6:6
We admire the rich and idolize the famous. Magazines and websites list the wealthiest people in the world. Even the entertainment industry bows to this obsession. Who can forget Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?
Statistics show that more things do not bring greater satisfaction. People in the middle and low-end of the monetary and possessions scale admit to greater contentment with where they are and what they have.
The rich want to get richer. The famous worry that someone will overshadow them. Stock market billionaires obsess over the Dow Jones numbers and worry they will lose everything if they don’t buy and sell at the right moment.
God has a better way.
I’ve been discussing contentment for the past two weeks. Hopefully, we’ve got a grasp on how to learn it. Basically, stop grasping for things. Then you will be content.
Of course, that isn’t the only key to successful living. The other half of the dynamic duo is godliness.
What is godliness? In purest definition using parts it means “the quality or state of being like God.”
In order for us to practice godliness, we must know what God is like in order to imitate him. The more I study godliness, the more I like the word. In essence, Christian means something similar (Christ-like), but it has been so distorted by the world’s flippant application that most people don’t consider that definition.
It might be a little harder to destroy the meaning of godliness. It’s right there in the different parts of the word. The root word “god” (some might question who that is, I suppose) with its “ly” additive making it an adjective. Finally, tack on the suffix “–ness” which denotes quality and state and you arrive at a clear definition.
In order to know God we need to:
- Accept his gift of salvation so we will be spiritually alive since “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:14)
- Open the Bible and read and study it, because it is our spiritual food (Heb. 5:12-14) and helps us grow spiritually (1 Pet. 2:2)
- Pray for guidance and direction
- Apply the principles learned through Bible study to our lives
- Learn to be filled with the Spirit because he guides us into truth (John 16:13) and through him we can manifest the fruit of the spirit
In essence, we must learn about God and live for him in order to possess the quality of godliness. Why would this matter?
Because God promises that the dynamic duo of godliness and contentment pay off in our life as “great gain.” Don’t mistake this for financial prosperity. After all, temporal things shouldn’t be our central focus.
“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:19) because unlike the Bill Gateses of the world you won’t have to worry about theft or loss. None of that can touch your heavenly treasure.
Best of all, you can’t take anything with you out of this life. Your heavenly savings account? It will be waiting in eternity.
The direct correlation I see between godliness and contentment is that you rarely see one without the other. Crazy, isn’t it? Think about the most content person you know, nothing rattles them and they are completely satisfied with their lot in life.
Do you have a person in mind? Now, ask yourself if this bastion of contentment is also a godly person. Nine times out of ten the answer will be yes.
Why didn’t I ask you to think of the godliest person you know? Simple. Those outer signs of godliness can be counterfeit. I know, I was a counterfeit Christian for more than 20 years.
On the other hand, discontent is fairly obvious. There is complaining and coveting and dissatisfaction. Genuine contentment glows like a beacon.
Where are you on God’s scale of great gain? Are you pairing godliness with contentment in your life?