Summary: The love of money never satisfied a soul. The best it ever did was to entertain for a little while. The love of God fills us with love for others. The love of God brings with it real, abiding, lasting, and enduring joy.
Learning To Be Content, I Timothy 6:6-10
Here in America we are taught from birth that if we work hard enough we can have the all American dream; a big house with a two car garage, the man or woman of our dreams, 1 cat, 1 dog and 2.5 children. And many of us do have those things.
The reality though is that instead of a perfect imaginary house with a sparkling white picket fence, we find ourselves in a real house that is in constant need of repair! Instead of a Mercedes and a BMW in the garage, we have a car we use for parts to keep the other one running!
The man or woman of our dreams doesn’t live with us, we have their twin brother or sister who is grumpy in the morning and snores at night! The cat wakes us up at night meowing at shadows and the dog turned out to be a Saint Bernard whose favorite past time is eating the insoles out of our favorite shoes!
And oh, what about the 2.5 children of our dreams? It turns out that Hyperactivity disorder really does run in our families too!
We live in the real world, don’t we? God has given us many beautiful things. Imperfect houses that keep us safe, imperfect cars that take us from here to there.
He has given us pets to comfort us when we feel sad, faulty spouses to love us in spite of our flaws, and energetic-hyperactive children to remind us of how patient God is with us.
This morning I am going to share with you what the Bible has to say about being content. God has placed us right where we are supposed to be. Our task is not the constant pursuit of more wealth or more comfort, our task is to learn to be content with what we have and to honor God with all that we are.
“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 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. (I Timothy 6:6-10 ESV)
We brought nothing into this world that it is leaving with us. So many people are living as though today doesn’t matter. They live as though the only purpose which today serves is to provide a better, more comfortable life for tomorrow.
How many relationships suffer because one or both partners are consumed with things of this world? How many people’s lives are filled with disappointment over what they don’t have?
Proverbs 15:16 says, “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.” (ESV)
We see it all of the time; people with great wealth and fame – the good life – whose lives are full of trouble because they have abandoned God. We see people in the news who are famous football players with everything that the world says should make you happy in this life.
They are in great shape. They have fame and success. They have big houses, beautiful cars, and more money than they know what to do with. And yet their lives are filled with troubles of every kind. They get into legal trouble. They are addicted to drugs.
None of the physical comforts or pleasures of this life will ultimately make us happy or give us joy or peace. The Apostle Paul is telling us that if we have clothes and food then we should learn to be satisfied.
Material possessions are not inherently evil though. There is nothing wrong with owning nice things. Clearly there is a principal at work in the Scriptures which tells us that God does bless His people.
But joy, deep and abiding joyfulness, does not come from material possessions. It comes from the love of God filling our hearts.
Why do we see what someone else has and are envious? Why do we think that we need more than what we already have? Philippians 4:11 says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (ESV)
It is not our circumstances which drive our joy. The Apostle Paul is telling us that no matter what our state or circumstances it is possible to be content.
The reason is that ultimately the source of our joy is not what is around us but who is in us. You see, too often we allow what goes on around us to dictate what goes on inside of us.