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)
Ever tried clearing out a cupboard or a garage? It’s amazing what you find there, isn’t it? Priceless treasures too good to throw away; documents about past business; bits and pieces that ‘may come in handy one day’ – or, to put it another way, a whole load of rubbish! I once cleared just one cupboard and threw out four dustbins-full of rubbish; Mike clears his garage each Spring and manages to fill the whole car with rubbish for the refuse dump. What an amazing tendency we all have to clutter our lives – which might just be one of the reasons why we find it so hard to be content.
In the cartoon ‘Jungle Book’, Balloo the bear sings a delightful song entitled ‘The Bare Necessities’. He’s an easy-going character who, as long as there is a paw-paw or two to eat, is remarkably content and can’t see why people get so in a fuss about things. A lot of Christians could do with being a bit more like him! For many of us get so anxious about ‘the bare necessities’ of life.
When Jesus’ disciples were worrying about such ‘bare necessities’, he told them not to be anxious about ‘what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear’ (Matthew 6:25). He pointed to the birds and flowers, saying that if God cared for these, how much more would he care for his children. So, don’t worry, he told them! For it’s as we seek first the kingdom that we can trust God for such things and be content.
If you have been feeling far from content about the material aspects of your life, consider what having ‘more’ would really bring you, when you have a God who has promised that you will have all you need for life. So why be anxious for more? Instead, ask for his promised contentment!
Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:8-9)