Summary: Contentment can only be found in God, not things.
Text: I Timothy 6:6-8
Truth: Contentment can only be found in God, not things.
Aim: I want the pursuit of God to be more important than the pursuit of things.
Life ?: What do I need to know & do so that it will produce contentment?
Where do the happiest kids in the world live? A study released in 2012 titled “The New Definition of Childhood,” produced by an agency headquartered in Chicago, found that the happiest kids in the world live in Mexico—despite its many social ills and widespread poverty. The study asked 4,000 children ages 6 to 12 in 12 countries what it’s like to grow up today. According to the first-ever Global Kids Happiness Index, kids in Mexico were the happiest in the world, followed by Spain, Brazil, and Germany. American kids scored fifth. Across almost all countries, the most important source of happiness for kids is close family and friends. The solution to nearly all our social ills always seems to come back to relationships with the most important people in our life. (Halee Gray Scott, www.christianitytoday.com, “Want to be Happy?)
Michelle Van Loon tells about the time her family moved from a sprawling ranch with a finished basement to a rental townhome with harvest gold appliances and a kitchen counter top the size of a Pop Tart. It looked like something from the 1970’s.
She thought they’d live in their 1970’s TV sitcom set for a few weeks, four or five months at most. Her family lived there for more than two years. She said it stunted her hospitality and ate away at her contentment.
Most of her stories began with, “When we move…” “When we move,” she’d say, “we will have people over for dinner again. We will unpack our library. We’ll plug into a church instead of keeping our relationships at a distance. When we move, we will relaunch the kind of life we used to have.”
Michelle said she allowed the dated décor of the townhome and the temporary living situation to steal her peace and contentment from 750 irreplaceable days of life. After a month and half she turned loose of her hope for a better living space and replaced it with restlessness that began to cover her soul. It was only after she moved to a different home did she realize that in her pursuit of something that wasn’t hers, she’d wished away so much abundant life that God wanted to give her.
Here’s how she closes: “There is no small irony in the fact that my husband and I are once again living in a 1970s rental townhome. It is a remedial lesson, perhaps, in choosing daily to cultivate contentment. God has provided a wonderful home and life for me here and now. As I live into his abundant life, my desires align with his, and my longing increases for my permanent address, the one home he has promised me I’ll live in, with deepest contentment, forever.” (www.christianitytoday.com, Green With Housing Envy)
Sixty years ago, when the first fast-food restaurants popped up across the U.S., the portions were much smaller than they are now. A typical hamburger was 3.9 ounces; today it can be three times as large. A soft drink was 7 ounces, but now that same drink can be up to 64 ounces. These sizes didn’t increase because of necessity but because we weren’t satisfied until we were stuffed.
What does it take to satisfy you? We want to be content. But what’s got to happen for us to quit fussing and fuming, worrying and complaining? When will enough be enough? How can we stop letting this world take away our peace. We can identify with this woman who had adequate housing but because it was not big enough she allowed it to steal her peace and contentment for 750 days of her life! We know that God doesn’t want that for our life.
Paul speaks on the subject of contentment to the young pastor at Ephesus named Timothy. Paul had mentored Timothy. He learned that Timothy was experiencing problems in the church. He writes him a letter with some wise advice. We know the letter as 1Timothy.
In chapter five Paul told Timothy how to deal with special groups in the church. He gave Timothy a principle at the beginning of the chapter that said treat people like you would if they were your own family. If a widow had difficulty meeting her needs, you’d feel obligated to help her. If you treated the pastor of the church like family, you’d provide adequate financial support and show him respect. He carries that thought forward into chapter six by saying slaves would honor their masters. But what would you do if someone was threatening your family with false teaching and causing divisions? You’d oppose it. You’d correct the false teachers and the false teaching. That’s the context of this passage on contentment.