But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
The Discipline of Stewardship is strongly linked to the concept of contentment. The 1st Timothy 6:6-8 passage above is very instructive. In it we see the link between contentment and a proper perspective of what is ours and how we are to relate to possessions. The bottom line is, all the possessions we have are gifts from God (including time, talent and treasure). The words of our Lord in Luke 12:15 provide a similar perspective:
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Contentment cannot be found in worldly possessions. Compare a contented person to one who is not contented:
- A contented person gives thanks for what they have while a person who is not contented is never satisfied;
- A contented person thinks success comes to those who give the most while a person who is not contented thinks success comes to those who accumulate the most;
- A contented person thinks eternal while a person who is not contented thinks temporal;
- A contented person uses ambition for the greater good while a person who is not contented is blinded by ambition;
- A contented person prioritizes God and people while a person who is not contented views God and people as a means to an end.
How contented are you? Do you believe contentment and stewardship go hand in hand?
April 9, 2014 at 11:33 am
Yes I agree contentment and stewardship goes hand in hand.
To take this to the extreme if you believe everything you have belongs to GOD and you give most of it to serve others … you will be eccentric (by worldly standards) and perhaps have not a care in the world.
Lately I have become mildly obsessed with the sayings of St Augustine and to paraphrase he puts it this way ….
Whatever GOD has given you, take what you need and give the rest away …
I think the above captures in my rational (lowly) mind a balanced approach.
Contentment comes from no longer striving … believing what you have is enough … and that GOD will provide .,,, helping others is an opportunity to grow, as it pushes us beyond ourselves , our inherently self – centred human nature.
If you can step out of yourself … that is super natural.
The understanding has settled on me that it is impossible to be content without a life of service to others …. yes of course you can have a riot drinking and cavorting with friends for example … but that is not contentment …. it is exhilaration …. which lasts but for a moment …