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. 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. (I Timothy 6:6-11, ESV)
I don’t know if it has an actual name, but I call it Social Media Wisdom. It’s those thought-provoking quips and quotes you see posted on a friend’s social media page. As a disclaimer, I really don’t see much on social media that I classify as wisdom, but something I read today spoke to me. The post credited these wise words to Kendra Nash. It says:
If you watch HGTV too long, you’ll become dissatisfied with your home.
If you stay on social media too long, you’ll become dissatisfied with your life.
If you watch the news too long, you’ll become dissatisfied with the world.
I’ve met a number of discontented people in my lifetime, as you probably have as well. I suspect the root cause of discontent is a lack of gratitude. Combine that with our habit of comparing ourselves to others, and we have one unhappy, maybe jealous, even grumpy, discontented person. There will always be someone who has more money, a fancier car, nicer clothing, more exotic vacations, and a more perfect figure and face. That’s life. But the more we focus on what we do not have, the less we appreciate and enjoy what we do have. Theodore Roosevelt summed it up when he said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
While I’ve known some joyless discontents, I’ve also been blessed to know many who face life with a content and happy spirit. I’m sure you have also. Contented people share several positive characteristics.
- They practice gratitude.
- They skip the comparisons.
- They invest in people more than things.
- They live with purpose.
- They enjoy seeing others blessed.
- They are content with what they have.
First Timothy 6:6 tells us that godliness combined with contentment is great gain. The passage goes on to warn about those who constantly seek more and more. When we focus on being rich, it is easy to give in to temptation, which then leads to what it calls “senseless and harmful desires.” Instead, it says we should pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
Contentment doesn’t come from the quality or quantity of our possessions, the balance in our bank account, or our position in society. Those things may bring momentary happiness, but true contentment comes from God’s blessings favor upon our lives.
The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22, ESV)
Seek God and the road leads to contentment.
(Explore other verses that tell us about true contentment: Psalm 23:1; Psalm 34:10; Mathew 6:19-34; Philippians 4:11-13, 19; Hebrews 13:5.)