Are you struggling with contentment?
Do you have a go-to comfort meal? In our family, it’s tuna casserole. One evening, I pulled this comfort-meal out of the oven for dinner. Eager, everyone dished up and dug in.
On this particular night, something wasn’t quite right. Instead of the normal, “Mom, this is SO good,” we all started commenting on how dinner tasted weird. The tuna casserole was definitely missing something. We just couldn’t figure out what it was. We tried adding salt and hot sauce, but that didn’t help. So we kept eating but not really enjoying the meal.
Just as we were about to finish, my middle daughter blurted out, “Mom, it’s missing the tuna!” The mystery was solved. The rolls of laughter continued for the next ten minutes. “Mom, how could you forget the tuna!”
All that time we were all quietly eating noodles, peas, and cream of mushroom soup. No wonder it tasted so bad. Needless to say, whenever I serve tuna casserole the first question is…“Did you remember the tuna!”
Something is missing.
Could you have a great love for God but still be missing a key ingredient? Paul reminds his mentee, Timothy, that godliness with contentment is great gain.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6
We can have godliness, but if we don’t have contentment then something is missing.
Why is Paul making such a big deal about contentment? Why is the equation not written: godliness = great gain. Can’t godliness be enough? Why do we need to have contentment too?
Paul reminds Timothy and us, it’s not enough to have piety. Paul warns against those who use godliness as a means to get ahead in this world. If godliness is just a way to “one up others” or “to look” the part, then we have tragically missed the gospel. Godliness without contentment is like trying to eat tuna casserole without the tuna. It just doesn't taste right!
Satisfied from the inside out.
All of our girls were binky babies. Every night we participated in the Binky Olympics. It was a tiring season. What a relief when they each learned how to fall asleep without their binky! Why did our girls learn to fall back asleep without their binky? They had learned how to be content. Contentment has everything to do with being internally satisfied.
How do we get satisfied from the inside out? First we need God’s Word along with the Holy Spirit to align our minds with truth. We need a reality check. Look at what Paul says in the next verse.
After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. 1 Timothy 6:7
First reality check: We are born empty handed and we leave empty handed.
We weren’t born with titles, possessions, accomplishments or social media followers. Neither will our accumulation of these things matter in the end. When we browse online, when we walk past our neighbor’s house, or walk through Target we will be tempted to think these things last and they are worth acquiring. No matter who we are, we are all in the same boat. Entitlement will whisper, “You are owed this and you deserve more.” This false perspective allows us to justify discontentment and without course correction leads us toward a path of destruction (1 Timothy 6:9).
Second reality check: All we have is a gift from God.
James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above. What we have is not really ours to begin with; it's a gift for our good and God’s glory. We are tempted to think God might stop providing or if he really loved us then he would do ______. But God’s love for his children won’t stop. His supply house won’t run out. Why? Because it’s based on his character and not ours. If he has safely brought us this far, let’s trust him to sustain us for the journey ahead.
Third Reality Check: He will supply all we need for a godly life.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.1 Peter 1:3
Did you catch that? He HAS given us EVERYTHING! It’s already accomplished. What a promise. Our heavenly Father has chosen us and redeemed us. He didn’t stop there. He has given us everything we need for a godly life. Those who know their heavenly Father have learned like Paul, to be content wherever they find themselves. (Phil. 4:11). They are confident that what God has given, even the hardest times, is for his glory and their best. So contentment, being satisfied from the inside out, begins with aligning our minds with the truth.
What does it say about my godliness if I am not content? Is God not enough? Do I have to have God plus something else to keep me content?
God + successful kids.
God + a bigger house.
God + the right people in office.
God + that relationship.
God + great health.
God + that career.
God + that ministry.
We often think, “I’ll be okay (content) if only this _________. Yet God is saying to us, his daughters, “I’m already enough for you.” Satan wants us to believe the lie God is not enough. When we believe this we start grabbing, comparing, and complaining. We stop resting in the reality of what has already been given to us.
- In Christ you have been clothed in his righteousness (Romans 5:1).
- In Christ you now stand in a place of undeserved privilege (Romans 5:2).
- In Christ you have been freed from the power of sin (Romans 8:2).
- In Christ you have the same Spirit that raised him from the dead (Romans 8:11).
- In Christ his Spirit intercedes for you (Romans 8:26).
- In Christ you have the hope of heaven (Romans 8:23).
- In Christ all things work out for your good (Romans 8:28).
Christ is our greatest gain! Nothing in the world compares to having him. He is enough in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.
Satan wants you to believe you’ll never be satisfied until you have _______. But remember you came into this world empty handed and you’ll leave this world empty handed too. Everything you have is a gift from the Lord. He has promised you everything you need for a godly life. God doesn’t go back on his promises. Contentment proves that God is the one who satisfies. True godliness isn’t missing contentment. Let's continue to ask God to work contentment in our hearts so a hurting world will see that he is enough.