Godliness with Contentment




“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

I Timothy 6:6

What Is Great Gain?

  1. It is not merely gain – it is great gain! Rather than just success – it is being very successful!
  2. Who defined it as great gain? God Himself, Who knows more about man’s profit than any.
  3. The context indicates that growth and success are under consideration (compare to 6:5).
  4. Godliness and contentment are pleasing to God, so He will favor the godly and contented.
  5. Godliness and contentment make men confident, happy, and at peace in any circumstances.
  6. Godliness lays claims to God’s promises for both this life and the next life (I Timothy 4:8).
  7. Contentedness allows you to have a continual feast no matter your circumstances (Pr 15:15).
  8. Consider Job, Habakkuk, David, Moses (Job 1:20-22; Hab 3:17-19; Ps 4:5-8; Heb 11:24-26).
  9. The afflicted and discontented man is never happy, for he never has enough (Eccl 5:10).
  10. Covetousness makes it impossible to please God (Matt 6:33; 19:23-26; I Timothy 6:9-10).

What Is Godliness?

  1. It is being like God (Matt 5:45,48) and doing those things that please Him (Luke 2:52).
  2. It is consistent with good works, which are righteous actions defined by God (I Tim 2:10).
  3. It is much more than just the form or ritual of religion – it is holy action (II Timothy 3:5).
  4. It is one of the basic Christian character traits we are to add to our faith (II Peter 1:6-7).
  5. It involves sorrow and repentance far different than the world’s sorrow (II Cor 7:9-11).
  6. It is living contrary to the carnality and compromise of modern Christianity (II Tim 3:12).
  7. It is consistent with sobriety and righteousness and opposite worldliness (Titus 2:12).
  8. Godliness must include a great seeking of God and His holiness (Heb 11:6; I Pet 1:15-16).
  9. Godliness is the opposite of worldliness, and it is spiritually minded (Jas 4:4; I John 2:15-17).
  10. Enoch walked with God; David had a heart like God’s (Gen 5:21-24; Acts 13:22; Heb 11:5).
  11. It is seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness over all the other things of life (Mat 6:31-34).

What is Contentment?

  1. Contented. Satisfied, desiring nothing more or nothing different; limiting one’s desires, willing to put up with something. It is the opposite of covetousness.
  2. Covetousness. Inordinate and culpable desire of possessing that which belongs to another or to which one has no right. It is the opposite of contentment.
  3. Covetousness is idolatry, for it is not content with God or His gifts (Eph 5:5-7; Col 3:5-7).
  4. Discontentment leads to murmuring that God hates and judges (I Cor 10:9-11; Phil 2:14-16).
  5. There are four things never satisfied, but they should not be saints of God (Prov 30:15-16).
  6. Contentment is happiness, peace, pleasure, and satisfaction with what you already have.
  7. The Christian religion condemns covetousness and commands contentment, and the Lord should be enough to prohibit the former and cause the latter (Heb 13:5).
  8. Contentment is a choice and learned behavior Paul did by Christ’s strength (Phil 4:11-13).
  9. A discontented person is easy to spot. He is unhappy, fretting, worried, negative, unthankful.
  10. They love the word “but.” No matter how many good things they have, there is always “but.”
  11. They love to worry. They can overlook 100 important things to fret hard about 1 minor thing.
  12. Pride leads to expectations beyond reality; they think too highly of themselves to fit reality.
  13. What do you want from life? Many say, “I want to be happy.” You can choose it right now!
  14. David showed contentment in the will of God at the death of a child (II Samuel 12:15-23).
  15. John Baptist taught it as satisfaction with wages, even when sin might bring more (Luk 3:14).
  16. Accept your role in life without fretting, unless it can be changed easily (I Cor 7:17,20-24).
  17. Wives better learn contentment, for it is God’s doctrine to protect their bodies (Prov 5:19).
  18. If you are not content with your husband … (1) you chose him, (2) your parents approved him, and (3) God gave him to you! Why are you unhappy? He is obviously perfect for you!

How Do I Improve?

  1. Godliness includes contentment, for they do not exist separately. Do not try to divide them.
  2. Yet you do not have to be content with your level of godliness, for it should be increasing!
  3. Contentment is a choice you can make right now. Is your glass in life half full or half empty?
  4. Reject the American religion of more, More, MORE as true success, for it means nothing.
  5. Prove life goals by God (Rom 12:1-2). What are you seeking in life? Are the goals godly?
  6. Prove your priorities by Scripture. Remember Solomon’s wise priorities i.e. Prov 15:16-17.
  7. The simpler the lifestyle, the better. Obligations consume spirituality, time, energy, etc.
  8. Set (you choose) your affection on spiritual things in heaven (Colossians 3:2; Matt 6:19-21).
  9. Reject the false notion that a rich Christian businessman is an ideal ambition (Matthew 6:24).
  10. Would you rather be the rich man or Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)? There is no comparison.
  11. Let the “I gotta get ahead” syndrome drive you to spiritual progress by greater godliness.
  12. Let the “My children are going to have it better” drive you to teach them greater godliness.
  13. Life is short and ends before you wish, so apply yourself daily to wisdom (Psalm 90:10-12).
  14. Do everything in your life to the glory of God and Jesus Christ (I Cor 10:31; Col 3:17-24).
  15. Strictly make your focus the invisible things above natural sight and lusts (II Cor 4:17-18).
  16. Remember that everything will be burned up – your toys have a “hot future” (II Pet 3:1-18).
  17. Even in those areas you were foolish, our blessed God allowed them for holy and good ends.
  18. The serenity prayer is good: “God grant me the grace to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Amen!
  19. If you love wisdom, might, or riches, you will disappoint and be disappointed (Jer 9:23-24).

Are There Any Other Helpful Hints?

  1. Contentment does not mean satisfaction with less than your best performance in an area.
    1. Yet this “best performance” must be limited to your reasonable effort (Psalm 127:1-2).
    2. A godly man is diligent and works with his might to get ahead (Prov 22:29; Eccl 9:10).
    3. Contentment is not satisfaction with results of laziness or foolishness (Matt 25:24-30).
    4. Contentment is satisfaction with what God gives your best effort (Eccl 11:6; Jas 4:13-15).
  2. Excessive expectations – that a thing will bring happiness – will cause you discontentment.
    1. If money is trusted for happiness, it will not be enough: you will want more (Eccl 5:10).
    2. If an event is trusted for happiness, it will always disappoint – dinners, vacations, etc.
    3. If you think a new spouse will satisfy you, you are wrong. All spouses have many faults.
    4. If a thing is sought for happiness, it will disappoint quickly and become another problem.
  3. Excessive expectations – beyond what is normal or given by God – cause discontentment.
    1. Some expect too much financially, when there are reasons the average income is average.
    2. Some expect such perfection they are irritated by minor details not important to anyone.
    3. Some expect too big of a role in life, so they are disappointed when others neglect them.
  4. Contentment does not end prayer for better circumstances (II Samuel 12:15-17; II Cor 12:8).
  5. If Jesus Christ is known and loved, you have more than heart could wish (Hebrews 13:5-6).
    1. If He is your Portion in life, then nothing in heaven or earth can compete (Ps 73:25-26).
    2. If you are glorying in the right things, all the disappointments are nothing (Jer 9:23-24).
    3. True satisfaction is found in the Lord (Ps 22:26; 36:8; 63:5; 65:4; Pr 19:23; Is 66:11).
  6. If God’s sovereignty is rightly understood, then you will have no basis for resenting your life.
    1. The Potter is not to be murmured against, even if He made you without hands (Is 45:9).
    2. It is God that makes you to differ from another, so why boast or complain (I Cor 4:7).
    3. Contentment is very simply your choice of attitude regarding God’s choices in your life.
    4. You will be able to resign yourself to the will of God with calm submission (Jas 4:13-15).
  7. Contentment is learned by choosing a spirit of satisfaction through Christ (Phil 4:11-13).
    1. Paul had learned that no matter what his condition, he could be content with those things.
    2. Regardless of circumstances, he had learned to look at them with disciplined moderation.
    3. He realized that this great skill could only be done well by the power of Jesus Christ.
  8. Solomon’s priorities for life can help you choose attainable success that never disappoints.
    1. If you measure success by righteousness, all else is extra (Ps 37:16; Prov 15:16; 16:8).
    2. If you measure success by love, all else is extra and unnecessary (Prov 15:17; 21:19).
    3. If you measure success by peace, all else is extra and unnecessary (Prov 17:1; 21:9).
  9. Contentment is the attitude of a joyful heart: such a person has a continual feast (Prov 15:15).
  10. The preparation of your heart for contentment is to pray for convenient things (Prov 30:8-9).
  11. Constant thanksgiving promotes contentment. Count your blessings! Name them one by one!
  12. Disciplined moderation in the use of all things affects how you appreciate them (Prov 27:7).
  13. A long-term view blows away disappointment of the short-term (Ps 73:1-28; II Cor 4:17-18).