It’s common to think that more money, more stuff, means more life. It’s nearly impossible not to come to this conclusion based on what’s celebrated in our world.
At least two kinds of people know differently: those who know the scriptures and those who know the success of this world–and the emptiness it brings.
“… godliness with contentment brings great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6)
Everyone wants gain. And why not? The drive to be better, more happy, more confident, more effectiveness… this is a human drive. We all want more life. Everyone has desire. Everyone has an understanding of beauty, and chases after it.
The problem is not with desire, but where it focuses its attention.
Desire gain. Desire GREAT GAIN. But we must be careful with our understanding of more.
The real question is more what?
Godliness is a simple idea: becoming more like God. We must take off our nature and put on His. We must remove the destructive habits and replace them with self-control and discipline.
If we want more, we ought to relearn new ways of thinking, acting, speaking, and relating. The athlete puts to death laziness and picks up rigorous practice. The soldier puts down destructive individualism and learns how to operate as a team.
Drive is fantastic–it can be, it should be–but is not always satisfied. God never gives us everything that we want, for we often want harmful things. Additionally, we will never have everything, even all the good things. It’s simply not possible. Therefore we will always need contentment.
Godliness says, “I want to be more like God.”
Contentment says, “I trust that God has given me enough”
When we make a relentless commitment to godliness and contentment, we will discover a life of continual, increasing, great gains.
“The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.” (Ecclesiastes 1:8)
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:2-3)
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Deuteronomy 5:21)