Godliness with contentment is great gain
“If any man teacheth a different doctrine, and consenteth not to sound words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is puffed up, knowing nothing, but doting about questionings and disputes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, wranglings of men corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, supposing that godliness is a way of gain.
But godliness with contentment is great gain: for we brought nothing into the world, for neither can we carry anything out; but having food and covering we shall be therewith content. But they that are minded to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” — 1 Timothy 6:3-10 (ESV)
By Pastor Dennis Malcolm
MONEY’S THREE BIGGEST LIES
1. If I’m godly, I get rich. Fight back against the false teachings of “prosperity gospel” or “health and wealth gospel” because when it doesn’t work people blame God and fall away from Him. Actor Jim Carrey summed it up when he said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
2. More money (or stuff) will make me happy. Steve Martin humorously acted out on this in the movie “The Jerk.” The American relentless pursuit of “more” never is satisfied. Happiness is not a matter of amount; it’s a condition of the heart.
3. Money will give me what only God can give me. People often falsely believe money will protect them, give them security and bring contentment. These are all realms in which God alone can fulfill.
Take the Money Personality Quiz at cspotlight.com to see which of four common errors we fall into: Spender, Saver, Avoider or Worrier. Each is a subconscious strategy to make life work without God.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I LOVE MONEY?
• I’m breathing.
• I either don’t give or I do it grudgingly.
• I desire or resent what others have.
• I compromise to get or keep money, e.g., expense reports.
• What I buy or save determines how I feel.
• I never have enough money or stuff.
• I look down on those with less and favor those with more.
REJECTING MONEY’S LIES
1. Admit the problem is me and not my money. The real issue is my heart and my attitude. This is not just a problem with the rich. We have working vehicles, good roads, indoor plumbing, reliable electricity and habitat that is dry and can be cooled or heated. Compared to the rest of the world and to the rest of history, we are rich.
2. Cultivate contentment. This is a learned skill. Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.
“I know how to be abased, and I know also how to abound: in everything and in all things have I learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want. I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me.”
3. Pursue godliness for the sake of godliness. Do not pursue godliness for riches, gain or more stuff. “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”