Contentment, A Godly Principle. 02/18/2014 (Evening thought)

1st Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.  7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

The mindset of a true Christian differs widely from those whose interests are centered only in the present. While it is true that the Bible encourages us to be the very best that we can be, and to be successful in our endeavors, yet we are counseled to always harbor a spirit of contentment. This does not mean that there should be no desire to achieve honorable goals, or to better one's self in life. However we should not become restless and desperate if our dreams and aspirations were not realized in the way we had hoped, or if we are unable to enjoy the best things in life. In other words, being financially constrained should not then cause persons to covet those who are faring much better than themselves.

Our passage of scripture not only teaches us the godly principle of being content, but it also brings to view a very sobering truth that both rich and poor should be reminded of; that whatsoever we acquire in this world as it pertains to material wealth, must one day be all left behind. This truth puts the principle of contentment in its right perspective, and consequently raises the question of what is the true purpose and meaning of life.

After Steve Jobs died, it was found that he had left many billions of dollars behind, and yet he was buried in a single coffin, in a single spot in a graveyard, without even a single ipad. Even though he had made great contributions to the advancement and development of various electronic gadgets for communication, yet at the end of the day when his battle with disease was lost, he had to leave it all behind. It was this sobering reality that caused Jesus to ask the all important question: "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

During the "Great Recession" of the last few years, several individuals committed suicide after they realized that all they had worked for was suddenly swept away. Particularly disturbing was the story of a California resident, who having lost his job, and not able to pay his mortgage note, went home and shot his wife and three children to death, before turning the gun on himself. What he was saying by his actions is that "if I cannot live as I have been accustomed to, then life is not worth living anymore!" What a sad and regrettable conclusion to come to.

Jesus Christ has given us something much better to live for. By his death for us on Calvary He has opened wide the gates of heaven and  granted eternal life to all those who are willing to choose Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. The mansions he has gone to prepare for those that Love Him will have no mortgage note, and no high interest payments. No high-tech security systems will be needed, and there will be no hackers to steal the identity of the saints. That's why He counsels us:

Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

If by the grace of God we learn and practice the principle of contentment, a large share of our daily worries and anxieties would vanish, and we would have that peace of mind that the perplexities of life can never disturb. We therefore close with a text and a promise that we do well to adopt on a personal level. Let's read:

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

May this experience be ours both now and for the rest of our lives. "Good night" and God bless!