Monday 30 March 2015

"Godliness with contentment is great gain".

Paul wrote to Timothy, while the latter was in Ephesus and Paul gave Timothy instructions for him to pass on to the church. There are many lessons from First Timothy, but one of them is about contentment. Listen to Paul's instruction:

"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 6:6-8).

The aim of my blogging is to encourage Christians in the reformed faith, as well as hopefully leading people to solid reformed convictions. However, as an ordained minister, I am foremost concerned about the welfare of souls and of God's sheep. Our Western materialistic culture, as well as the sinful nature, can push against many apostolic teachings. One such thing is that it is the will of God that we live contented in this world.

The world knows little of this message of contentment. It is only the super-wealthy who are heralded, men such as Sir Richard Branson who have everything. However, Paul does not write to Timothy to pass on to Christians, that we must be contented when we have everything we want in this life. No, contentment is a safe and spiritually healthy place to be as a Christian.

If the world knows little about true contentment, it knows nothing about godliness. Godliness is a word which is probably used far too little and this should be the pursuit of all. One question is: "Would others describe us as godly in out attitudes, words, actions and pursuits? This simple equation teaches us much, almost like 1 + 1 = 2. Godliness + Contentment = Great gain. Are you content and are you pursuing godliness?

There can be many things which make godliness and contentment difficult to attain. It could be worldliness, personal ambition, a desire to make a name for oneself, the fear of failure, unrealistic expectations of parents, insecurity and therefore seeking a reputation to compensate for a lack on inner-peace and so on.

There is a good Puritan paperback by Jeremiah Burroughs called "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment". I recommend this for further study on this subject.

Perhaps, one of the first steps to being renewed in repentance and faith is to reorient ourselves with biblical truth. May I suggest for all of us, for those who profess the name of Jesus, that we seek to attain and to pray for, godliness and contentment in our Christian pilgrimage.

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