The passage, from which today’s verse is taken, really deserves attention. We find Paul first addressing issues of ungodliness and unwholesomeness, and then moving on to tackle the sin of greed. In this context, we find this lovely pearl of a phrase ‘godliness with contentment is great gain’ (NKJV, and NIV), or, as the New Living Translation so beautifully puts it, ‘great wealth’.
It so happens that I live in a gorgeous mansion in the middle of a stunning estate. But, if I’m honest, I don’t always appreciate this blessing as I should. Recently, in the middle of a busy day, I decided to get out into the garden and have a wander around. I re-discovered fruits, herbs and flowers I’d nearly forgotten about, all because I simply haven’t been taking the time to appreciate them. I even discovered two ‘new’ trees which I’d never even noticed before.
I felt a bit foolish, living in such a rich environment for so long, but not appreciating it. Then I noticed the multitude of bees, birds and butterflies, who were helping themselves to everything available to their heart’s content. They all seemed to appreciate God’s provision more than me.
Pondering these things, I walked up to the main house, and our kids, as well as Johann and Lindsey’s, arrived back home from school. The car doors flew open, and all the kids immediately ran off to climb trees, roll in the grass, and generally simply enjoy the woodlands and the lawns. I felt like I still have so much to learn from their sincere appreciation and general gratitude for everything there.
It’s difficult to be content, unless we choose to enjoy the things which God gives us. And to be able to enjoy things, we must make some time. This will help us to be content, rather than grumbly and downcast. Being content will help us not to be greedy. It will help us to be thankful. It will help us in praising God.
If we can be people who are truly godly (not immoral or selfish), but, at the same time, content (not sour-faced or full of complaints, we would do everyone around us a big favour. But what’s more, it will help us to shine like stars and give glory to God.
Prayer: Father in heaven, today I thank You for all the wonderful little things that You’ve surrounded me with. Open my eyes and help me notice Your goodness. Please teach me to be godly AND content, all of the time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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