The Cultivation of Contentment: Part Two

I Timothy 6: 6 – 12

Our text emphasizes there is nothing bad about being rich. It can be, and often is, very good. It is our attitude toward material goods that is at question.

Verse 9 opens the door for consideration to be given some unreasonable ways of seeking to gain wealth.

There is the snare of borrowing your way to wealth. Avoid the bondage of debt. The Bible does not prohibit borrowing. However, in borrowing we must make certain in advance resources will be incoming that can retire the loan on time. When the time passes without the note being paid, the person is in bondage.

Our drive to get ahead often gets us farther behind.

Neither security nor comfort is wrong. Both are admirable, but neither is obtainable apart from godliness. Some have become so driven by material ambition that they have “strayed from the faith in their greediness” (Vs. 10b).  Avoid people who think gain is godliness. (Vs.  5) Some persons, especially preachers, have used false godliness as a means of gain. They have prostituted the gospel, commercialized Christ, and merchandized false doctrine for personal gain. From such “withdraw yourself.” A strategic withdrawal is expedient.

If you desire contentment, don’t try to use godliness as a means to an end, but as an end in itself.

Accept a primary axiom.  (Vs. 7) “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”  That closely parallels Job 1: 21, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.”

There is an old expression: “There are no pockets in a shroud.”

A wealthy person died and someone asked, “How much did he leave?” Someone answered, “Everything.”

It is said that the casket of Alexander the Great, conqueror of the known world, had holes in each side with his open hands protruding through them to indicate he, too, died empty-handed.

Avow God is the giver of every enjoyable thing. (Vs. 17c)

This verse addresses those who have already obtained wealth and offers three warnings:

Don’t be haughty, don’t trust in your wealth, and do trust in God.

“God gives us richly all things to enjoy” and that includes wealth.  It is enjoyed when there is a proper attitude toward it and a generous spirit related to it.

The ultimate delight, which far exceeds earthly and material blessings, is “eternal life.” (Verse 19c)

Verse 12 appeals to us to “Fight the good fight of faith.” This indicates the Christian experience is a perpetual challenge. This is an appeal for discipline and determination.

Verse 19c challenges us to “lay hold on eternal life.” The Greek term describes a completed reality, a single happening. Thereafter it affords contentment.