We must be intentionally thankful in a world where people are constantly clamoring for more, bigger, and greater. What we have is never enough. The season we are in is never the right one. Even who we are seems far too insignificant.
Let these words from 1 Timothy 6:6 both challenge you and encourage you in this season of thanksgiving:
Godliness with contentment is great gain.
Paul wrote a letter to Timothy, a young pastor, under his tutelage. He wanted to encourage Timothy to pursue true godliness in the face of the corruption of leaders around him. Paul admonishes Timothy to teach the truth and avoid the way of the corrupt who think that godliness is a means for gain—a source of profit, a way to get rich (vs. 5). Sadly, this sounds like many leaders today.
Paul encouraged Timothy by telling him that godliness is a source of great gain but not in the way the corrupt leaders thought. It’s not godliness and wealth or godliness and stature and significance.
Its godliness plus contentment.
a state of happiness and satisfaction.
Contentment is an inner confidence one has that is based on the sufficiency of God. It is the sense that you have all that you need in Jesus! Serving God does make us very rich when we are thankful and satisfied with what we have.
Don’t get me wrong. Being satisfied with what we have doesn’t mean we won’t desire more. It does mean that we will never improve in life. We should always aim to better ourselves. Paul wasn’t speaking evil about riches. Many wealthy people serve the Lord faithfully. Instead, Paul was warning Timothy of the misplaced pursuit of wealth. This pursuit can lead even the most faithful and devout down the wrong path (1 Timothy 6:7-10).
Rather than focusing all our efforts on worldly gain, we should focus on personal integrity, and pursuing holiness in conduct, attitude, and thought. We CAN choose to be content in whatever circumstances God has given us.
Let these reminders help you pursue godliness with contentment:
- You have everything you need to succeed in life at this moment 2 Peter 1:3
- You are enough because you stand complete in Him Colossians 2:9-10
- You have been given sufficient grace 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
- You can steward this season of your life well because of Christ who gives you strength Philippians 4:12-13
- You can keep going and keep growing because God began a great work in you, and He is faithful to see it through. Philippians 1:6
You can’t lose when you live with a heart full of thanksgiving! Be thankful for what you have. Pursue personal integrity and pursue holiness, then be happy in Jesus!