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Contentment can turn into complacency if not tempered by the presence of God. While the drive for monetary success can override smaller, gentler ways and cause discontent, sorrow, or grief. Success, fame, renown . . . they are also cut from the same cloth as the love of money.


I Timothy 6:6, 10
But godliness with contentment is great gain. . . . For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Two sides of a coin are represented in this brief passage.

On one side, I see the importance of adding godliness to the formula for contentment. So many people have taken contentment to mean “door mat” or satisfaction with misrepresentation. Neither of these are correct. True contentment is wrapped up in trust first and sensitized to the Spirit within that trust wrapper. When we cannot change a situation, then we must trust God to know and impact it in God time. And when we can change a situation, then we must move according to the stirrings from the Holy Spirit, moving at a non-human speed. That’s how contentment and godliness work together.

On the other side of my coin is too much action with the wrong motivation. It’s change for the sake of personal gain alone. It’s living a deception and for this reason, it brings grief, for once the money or fame or notoriety are achieved, truth is lost and in many cases, the people who mattered most are cast away while the secret dream that had nothing at all to do with money is forgotten.

Sometimes, acclaim comes without an expectation or specific desire for it. Sometimes, it’s a by-product because a person acted out of pure motive and devotion. It can happen. But not often.

For me, I have known none all and none. Griefs have come and I have felt the piercings. Mostly, because of my fears of not having money. And so, there is a holding or misuse of money, a drive to protect what I do have. It colors my world and I don’t like it, but I am hard-pressed to let go. I am hard-pressed to experience contentment within the confines of what is: this much money and no more; this lifestyle and not another; this security and not that other one; this way for now and not another way.

Grief comes with loss and how interesting to be warned of loss in the midst of “financial gain.” Another scriptural paradox!

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