Real Contentment

Text: 1 Timothy 6:3-10

At the deepest level we are all prone to being discontent. Because our desires have no end, we are constantly tempted to find something to fill us, something to satisfy us.

On one hand, that can be a good thing. If I feel empty or unsatisfied because I’m not following Christ, then that discontentment is a gift from God drawing us to Himself, to repent, to find our satisfaction in Him.

But the kind of discontentment that Paul is dealing with in these verses is not the good kind. It’s a discontentment that even Christians can be tempted to look for other things to satisfy us apart from Christ.

God is warning the church to avoid the pitfalls of a covetous heart and reminding His church how we can have true contentment in Him.

1. Be Content in the Gospel   (vv. 2b-5)

Paul begins the section by reminding Timothy to “teach and urge” these things. And the “things” Paul is referring is everything in this letter – what came before, and what he is about to teach. Everything. Timothy, teach and urge all these things – lay these truths before God’s people. Emphasize them. Passionately persuade the church to make these things a priority, contrasted by the false teachers who were doing the opposite.

These are the things we focus on and defend: We preach and teach gospel-centered messages. And we live gospel-centered lives. If anyone teaches anything contrary to the truth of the gospel, or anyone teachings anything that encourages ungodly living, Paul says “he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing”.  These teachers cause divisions and quarrels in the church, all for financial gain.

Now, you and I may ask ourselves, “How could anyone be fooled with that shameless scheme?” You’d be surprised at how easy it is to believe a lie when you’re not grounded in the truth. When you and I are not content in the truth of the gospel, we open ourselves up to all kinds of bad teaching.

When we become bored with the gospel, when we are constantly looking for something else, something deeper, something tantalizing, something to tickle our ears, something that will feed my flesh or fatten my wallet, we set ourselves up for deception.

So, I think it’s important to stop and ask yourself, “Am I content in the gospel? Is Jesus really enough? Am I following Jesus as a means to an end, or is Jesus my reward?”

The best guard against false teaching is to be joyfully content in the gospel. May God help us realize what a gift we have been given, that our eyes have been opened to the glorious truth that Jesus saves sinners, that He gave us the faith to believe, and the will to repent. He loves us with an everlasting love. He truly is enough.

2. Be Content in God’s Provision  (vv. 6-10)

There is great benefit to be had in believing the gospel and following Christ. Not the financial gain the false teachers focus on, but godliness itself is a reward. In other words, Jesus is enough. Jesus is the reward. Living an obedient life for Christ, and being content in what God provides, is great gain – it is a great reward in itself.

So in these remaining verses, Paul takes the opportunity to go into a deeper teaching about the Christian and money. More specifically, to warn the Christian about the desire to be rich.

We didn’t bring stuff in when we were born, and we won’t take stuff with us when we die. Every single thing we own is temporary. That’s why greed makes no sense in God’s economy.

[8] But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. [9] 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. [10] For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.

Now when it comes to this warning, we might be tempted to give ourselves a pass. We may think to ourselves, “I’m not coveting a bigger house or fancy cars.” But how often do you worry about money? How often is your heart anxious about what’s in the bank? How quickly are you discouraged when an unexpected expense comes along, like a car repair or a doctor bill? When I tally up the family budget, how much of my peace or my joy or my faith in God is affected?

This hits us all. And it needs to. Because this exposes how much I’m trusting in me and my ability, versus how much I’m trusting God to provide.

So, right now, whether things are going my way or not, I don’t get the job I wanted, I don’t like the station of life I’m in, I’m struggling with sickness, I’m discouraged with my circumstances – whatever my current state, I know that it is temporary.

Jesus is my treasure, and heaven is my home. Don’t pile up your treasures on earth. Put your treasure in heaven. Live in a way that says my hope and my reward are not of this world. My treasure is Christ, so my heart is with Him.

In that, we can have real contentment in Christ, not only because He gives all I need, but because He is all I need.



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