Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV)
Contentment is finding joy in what God has given to you. The opposite of contentment is greed. Martin Luther makes the point that greed destroys your capacity to enjoy what God has given.
Contentment is a Christian grace that grows over time. It does not come quickly, easily, or naturally. Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content…” (Phil. 4:12). How? Paul says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” (4:12).
He is saying: “There were times when I had plenty. But then God brought me into circumstances where I was in need. And through that I learned something—I discovered the secret of being content.” God used the experience of loss to produce the good fruit of contentment in Paul’s life.
Jeremiah Burroughs describes contentment as “a rare jewel.” He has great wisdom on how to obtain this jewel: “How can you find joy in what God gives you, especially when that is less than you had before?”
Burroughs says, “A Christian comes to contentment, not so much by way of addition as by way of subtraction… Contentment does not come by adding to what you have, but by subtracting from what you desire. The world says that you will find contentment when your possessions rise to meet the level of your desires… The Christian has another way to contentment, that is, he can bring his desires down to his possessions.”
Have you discovered the secret of being content?