But godliness with contentment is great gain. - 1 Timothy 6:6
Paul writes the above counsel to Timothy (his student, and a young leader in the Church) while in prison. He’s writing from prison, but he is someone who also experienced great authority and prosperity in his life (Philippians 4:12-13).
He’s not counseling Timothy to live a life a life of poverty, but to be a good steward of what he has. To work to improve on what he has been given, and to be a good example for other Christians (1 Timothy 4:8-16).
Be a Better Steward
In Jesus’s parable about stewardship (Luke 19:11-17), he notes that not everyone is given the same amount of gifts. Each of the servants is given a different amount of money in this parable. Yet they are all held to Jesus’s standard of producing more with what they have.
Contentment isn’t necessarily being ok with having less- but cultivating what you have to become more in order to glorify God.
What skills and resources do you have? And more importantly, how are you using them to bless others? Can you carry a tune? Consider volunteering to sing to the elderly. Do you have a snow plow? Use it to bless a neighbor with a clear driveway this winter.
Be an Example
Contentment is a gift that requires growth. Consider patience- God doesn’t wave a wand over your head annnd- poof! More patient! He allows you to experience situations which stretch your patience, so you grow. You do not magically become more content by choosing to do so, and God is unlikely to gift you with contentment in one swoop.
Contentment is something acquired by practicing. Consider God’s statutes and be an example of someone who strives to live them out:
As you are Christmas shopping, consider teaching your children, nieces/nephews about contentment and thankfulness with the Four Gift Rule (something they Want, something they Need, something to Wear, something to Read).
Written by: Mary Weinstein
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