The word ‘content’ as an adjective is becoming more and more obscure in today’s language. I looked up the word ‘content’ in the dictionary and the meaning was as follows; ‘Satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else’. Another dictionary defined contentment as a ‘feeling of or showing satisfaction with one’s possession, status or situation.
I am sure if we take a poll of people who are contented in line with the above definitions, the statistics will show a very low figure. This leads us to the question, should we be contented with what we have or where we are? Would that not put us in danger of being complacent?
Since we are looking at this from the Christian perspective, our reference point obviously is the Bible. I first came across the word ‘contentment’ in 1 Tim 6:6, ‘But godliness with contentment is great gain’. When I was younger, I used to wonder what benefit it was being a Christian. The Christians I used to see those days in the late 70s, lived frugally. They wore cheap clothes and lived in sparsely furnished homes. I could not understand it and it occupied my thoughts prior to my becoming a Christian.
Much later in my life, I had a clearer understanding of what it meant to be contented as a believer. I had to struggle to make a living early in life when my contemporaries were securing admission to universities. When I visited some of my friends at home, I could not help admiring their beautiful houses which was could not be compared with my own modest accommodations. At that time in my life, the word ‘contentment’ became real.
Notice that in 1 Tim 6:6, it says, ‘..godliness and contentment’. The two go hand in hand. With godliness comes contentment. When we walk with the understanding that God is able to meet us at the point of our need, we do not fret or worry for anything just because the next person seem to have it all. The contentment that comes with godliness is not borne out of laziness or complacency. It is borne out of absolute trust in God.
In our society today, a lot of young people want to get rich at all costs. Sadly, many of our Christian youth are also caught in this get rich quick syndrome. This great desire for money is what the Bible warns against in 1 Tim 6:10. ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds evil’. Paul here was warning the young Timothy not to get carried away by all the display of wealth and affluence by people around him.
It is sad that even in the church, undue emphasis on money is turning many to seek ways to get rich, ignoring the Biblical warning that ‘those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction’ (1 Tim 6:9)
One of my friends told me of a former State Governor in Nigeria , whom he knew as a practicing and dedicated Christian, prior to being elected Governor. Not quite long after he became Governor, he was involved in a number of corrupt practices and has been having a long running battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The recent events in the British parliament, has also shown that corruption is not an African thing. As long as men are not content with what they have, they will seek ways to enrich themselves in order to satisfy the desires of their hearts.
The passion for riches has given success a new meaning in our generation. You can hardly see anyone being celebrated as a successful teacher, counselor or nurse. It is only when these feats are accompanied by immense wealth, that such people are celebrated.
What then, should be our attitude to riches? I believe that God created the resources of the world for the benefit of his children. There is therefore nothing wrong when our skills, knowledge and hard work create wealth for us. When we live godly lives and God blesses us with wealth, money becomes a tool to bless others, to promote the gospel and of course to enjoy the comfort that it can buy.
The problem is when we lose focus and make the acquisition of money our main aim. It can lead to traps and temptations which eventually leads to terrible consequences, not only for us but for others as well.
‘When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous.’ – Wayne Dyer.
Steve O. Popoola
© May 2009. Biblepraise Fellowship Online
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the webmaster of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. British by birth, He currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria with his wife Maris and their children; Praise, Stephanie and Precious. He works as an IT professional in a bank. He presently serves as Church Secretary and Heads the Music Ministry in his local church . He loves to encourage and inspire through speaking forums. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org