Settling the Contentment Equation

November 17, 2015

Genuine contentment is one of the most recognizable traits of liberated, godly men and women. Somewhere along the way they have learned the ""secret of contentment"" as Paul says in Philippians 4, and this secret changes everything.

Paul reminds Timothy of the path to this treasure in 1 Timothy 6:6-12.

CONTENTMENT IS A MEANS OF GREAT GAIN

But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment (v. 6).

Those who posses this quality are continually rich, because they have need of nothing!

CONTENTMENT EMBRACES THE TRANSITORY NATURE OF SUPPOSED “OWNERSHIP”

""We have brought nothing into this word and we cannot take anything out of it"" (vs. 7).

The contented person knows that all we have in this life is from God and on loan. We are merely stewards and it is required of a steward to faithfully do what the Owner says with His possessions. This takes the pressure off. We don't have to make the decisions about our possessions or reputation. We simply listen and obey . . . for a very, very brief time.

CONTENTED PEOPLE HAVE SOLVED THE CONTENTMENT EQUATION

“If we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (v.8).

Paul understood the math:

food + covering = contentment.

He knew God would supply all he needed. He did not live for anything else but to glorify Him. He was content with anything. He found happiness and ministry everywhere, for he had settled the issue of why (and how) he lived.

Most of us have not solved this equation. We live in the Discontent Equation:

food + covering + (blank?) = contentment.

We always want something else—more things, reputation, health, success, etc. If we live for anything of these we will never be satisfied if we don't have them and terribly unhappy if they are lost.

What would YOU say you feel you must have in order to be content? Think deeply.

  • Pleasure? Comfort/ease/travel/retirement ease?
  • Power? Reputation/acceptance/recognition/everyone like you?
  • Possessions? A certain level of things/standard of living? More?

The reality is, if we have ANYTHING in that blank, our Enemy has us. For all he has to do is press that button to distract us with discontent.

CONTENTMENT SPRINGS FROM AN ETERNAL MINDSET

“Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called” (v. 12).

A godly person knows that this life is the DOT, not the LINE, as Randy Alcorn says. We are not living for the moment, but for eternity, which is our ultimate home and calling. We live to lay up treasures there and to spend this brief life taking as many people with us as possible.

A discontented man or woman is fairly useless to God's purposes for they are on a restless search for MORE. Their affections are divided and they have lost the clarity of mission and the “simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus Christ.”

Don’t run past this today. Wrestle deeply to settle the Contentment Equation. It may prove your greatest step to effectiveness and joy.

Father, thank You that if we have You, we have all we need. You are an inexhaustible supply. Help us to hold everything in this life with a loose hand. Help us settle the issue of why we live and to realize that we can fulfill our purpose of glorifying You in any circumstance.





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