Summary: This second part of the sermon on Godly contentment focuses on our covetous attitudes.
Are You Content – Part 2
Let me give you a picture of contentment. It’s a Saturday morning. I’m sitting in my new office, in my new chair. I have a hot cup of black coffee in my hand and a toasted bagel on the saucer. The dog is sitting quietly beside me waiting on a handout. Joyce is sitting in the other chair reading a magazine (while a load of laundry is running). The boys are still asleep in their room. Life is just right…then the phone rings and my tranquility is shattered by a telemarketer.
What makes you happy? When are you content? Think with me for a moment, when was the last time you noticeably felt content? Can you remember the time? Can you remember a particular day in the past year that you said to yourself, “This was a perfect day.”?
I hope you are able to think of at least one time when you were content. Many people are never content. They are always living for the future, instead of living now. They are never happy with what they have now, they always want something more. That’s why so many people try to win games that pay them millions of dollars. They buy lottery tickets, and apply for game shows in hopes they will become the next millionaire. By looking so far ahead, they are missing what is right before their noses.
Look at our text in 1 Timothy 6.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
In verses 9 and 10, Paul is pointing out the peculiar dangers of those that desire riches above all else. People who want, or covet, getting rich fall into temptation and a trap. Who set the trap? Satan of course! When I was a teenager I spent a lot of time in the woods learning how to hunt and trap and live like a woodsman. I learned that I could make some very simple snares for small game and catch my dinner. I didn’t make the trap very obvious. I’d put the snare on a path I was sure the animal would use. Then I’d disguise it so it blended in, then I’d set some food or bait in the trap. The animal would come along, see the bait and find itself caught in the snare.
Satan is like that. He makes riches look so appealing. You see the commercials and the message is that if you desire to be somebody, you must have whatever it is they are peddling. Cars, bling bling, houses, clothes, spa treatments, etc. It all looks so nice. And we think to ourselves, how bad can it be? How about the way Las Vegas began to advertise as though they were Disney World? Let’s trap the whole family. Satan is a liar. You know that don’t you?
The road to hell isn’t marked with a sign that says “this way to hell.” The road to hell, says “This way to heaven”. If we knew how bad things would turn out, we would never get on the road. Satan is so deceitful – he disguises the obtaining of wealth as the solution to all our problems. How did he tempt Eve? He disguised death as life. “If you eat this,…you will live and be like God.” He says to you through television, and through radio, and on billboards and even from your friends, “You must have this. If you had more…..Life would be great!”
But Paul says there’s a danger in chasing after riches. He tells Timothy that men who want to get rich fall into many foolish and harmful desires that cause ruin and destruction.
You might be saying to yourself, “So what’s the danger in being rich?” None! There is nothing wrong with having wealth. It is not money that causes the problem. I believe that money will make an inherently good person better, and a bad person worse. If you look at verse 10 you see a very popular and often misquoted verse – “The love of money is the root of all evil.”
Money can buy you everything but heaven and happiness. It can buy you medicine but not health. It can buy you a house but not a home. It can buy you companionship but not friends. It can buy you entertainment but not happiness. It can buy you a bed but not sleep. It can buy you a good life but not eternal life.