Have you ever been looking for something that you couldn’t find, and when you finally gave up looking for it, it just kind of appeared?
Maybe it’s Sunday morning and the house is frantic with activity. You have a woman trying to put on makeup, floss her teeth, and find a top that matches her skirt. A toddler encounters the sharp corner of the table and begins screaming bloody murder. And you can’t seem to locate your Bible.
Next thing you know your wife is yelling at you to find out what’s wrong with junior-ette, you’re opening and slamming drawers on all the furniture, and the child continues to scream. You give up in frustration of ever finding your Bible and run to fix the booboo. Your wife is still putting on makeup while you barrel down the highway doing at least ten over because you’re already five minutes late for Sunday School.
As you pull into the parking lot and unstrap your child from the backseat you discover your Bible is on the floor of the car, right where you left it after last night’s small group study at the Weaver’s.
The Bible describes false teachers in 1 Timothy 6:5 as “imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” They think that by their “godly” actions they can have all their selfish and worldly desires fulfilled—like wealth, fame, and happiness. They are frantic, running around like me on a Sunday morning looking for my Bible.
But Paul shows us the truth in verse 6: “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.”
At first glance, this doesn’t make sense. Actually, according to the world’s way of thinking, it still won’t make sense even after a second, third, or fourth glance. That’s because contentment is usually thought of as the opposite of gain.
When you watch people trying to make a sale, they are pushing gain. They are not pushing contentment. When my wife and I drove up to the Mitsubishi dealer, he didn’t compliment us on our sweet ride. He didn’t even mention it. He wasn’t pushing contentment. He was pushing gain.
So how can contentment be a conduit to great gain? Answer: satisfaction. When we are focused on our selfish desires, we just keep wanting more and more. When we are content, we are satisfied. That means we are not driven by the desire for more.
Contentment let’s us hop off of the merry-go-round because the pursuit of more will leave us where we started. We brought nothing into the world and that’s exactly what we get to keep at life’s end.
When we are godly and content our desires moves from having more to having God. He is our desire. He is our joy. And in the end, we end up finding the better desire satisfied in Him.