Contentment is Good

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-7

For the record, contentment is good. Being content is very powerful. It means someone lacks nothing and has everything.

In the Bible, content comes from two words:

ARKEO means to be strong, to suffice, to be enough; to be satisfied with a thing, and AUTARKEIA described as a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed; hence, sufficiency of the necessities of life.

Contentment is NOT:

1. Gratification. The Apostle Paul did not always have what he needed. Sometimes he even went hungry (Phil. 4:11). However, he was always content.

2. Lack of Ambition. There is nothing wrong with wanting to succeed, improve, or do better. In fact, God’s Word teaches us to be thrifty and diligent in the management of our resources in order to increase our substance (Prov. 10:4). God encourages us to work hard, achieve, and rejoice in our successes (Prov. 10:5).

3. Laziness. Laziness is a sin, and neglect is a greater sin. The man who will not work is unworthy of support. Too many try to justify their idle conduct by calling it contentment. (Prov. 21:24-25)

Contentment, therefore, IS:

1. Submission. In order to be content, one must be realistic (Ecclesiastes 1:15). There are some things we cannot change, but change the things you can. We are not God, only He is in control.

2. Pleasure. The secret to finding contentment is learning to enjoy the things you have, rather than finding displeasure in what you do not have (Hebrews 13:5). This wrong perspective leads to jealousy and envy.

3. Satisfaction. Paul wrote the Philippians and said, “I am full” (4:18). Contentment comes when one is able to recognize “it is enough.”

Contentment is best demonstrated by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus did not possess a lot of things (Matt. 8:20), but surely He was one of the happiest and most joyful men who ever lived. He understood that life is not measured by the size of one’s bank account, or the amount of gadgets and clothes he possessed – He learned to trust in the providence of His Heavenly Father.

Christ-like character is what gives enjoyment to one’s possessions. Jesus knew it was not having that brought joy… it was by doing (Acts 20:35). Happiness is in the doing not in the getting what you want. When we put our faith and trust in God rather than in things and get our priorities in order (Matt. 6:33), focus and simplify our lives, putting everything we have under God’s authority, then we will be on the road to a powerful life of contentment.