MIF 20:4 (July-Aug 1988)


Arthur F. Wilder

“Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).

The word contentment occurs only once in the Bible. It is significant that it is used here with godliness because the concept of being content is found in many places in the Bible as a virtue. Paul had reason to complain of his trials and sufferings, but he learned in the school of experience to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself (Philippians 4:11).

Contentment is an attitude of the heart and is developed by being obedient to God, patiently following where He leads and giving thanks for His provision of our daily needs. The Lord Jesus taught His disciples that they could rely on their heavenly Father to provide food and raiment, and that in turn they should seek for themselves the kingdom of God, being subject to His will in leading godly lives (Luke 12:22-31).

But even if we are content with our situation, there is nothing wrong with living in the anticipation of something better from life. We read in Psalm 84:11 that God will not withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Surely He knows what is good for us and we may be certain He will grant us spiritual and temporal blessings as long as we walk in the light of His Word.

Contentment is satisfaction with what one has, be it little or much, and this should help us avoid the sin of covetousness.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).