For reading & meditation: 1 Timothy 6:6
"But godliness with contentment is great gain."(v.6)
We continue meditating on the first of God's four purposes for money - to provide our basic needs. We saw yesterday that God longs for us to be dependent on Him. This is not because God is possessive, but because He knows that we experience our greatest happiness and freedom when we rely on Him alone. When we fail to recognise our need for God, we tend to lose our love for God. And the more we lose our love for God, the more we come to depend upon ourselves. Permit me to remind you again of the text we looked at yesterday: "If we have food and clothing, we will be content" (1 Tim. 6:8
). Contentment is the satisfaction we get from knowing there will be provision for our basic needs. We begin to lose our contentment when we compare what we have with what others have - and then before long expectations dominate our focus. To the degree that our expectations increase, contentment diminishes. One of the great advantages of being content with basics is that it equips us to resist the alluring advertising which seeks to convince us that we are able really to enjoy life unless we buy some new commodity. A contented person feels wealthy because he knows that what he already possesses is all he needs for daily living. A veteran missionary, meeting some new recruits to the mission field, surprised them by saying: "The first thing I would like you to do is to make a list of all the things you think you need - then I will spend some time with you showing you how to do without them."
O my Father, I see that material things can be a good servant but a bad master. Deliver me from the bondage of the material and help me to become a truly contented person. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
For further study:
1. What was Paul's testimony?
2. How should we live?