“For we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” -1 Timothy 6:7-8
A few weeks ago, I was in a conversation with some friends after church on the subject of Christian giving and contentment, and we found ourselves in a bit of a debate.
When it comes to our worldly resources, specifically our finances, are we as Christians called to gain more in order to give more, or are we called to simply be content with what we have?
While a surface level reading 1 Timothy 6, and this argument would probably push us towards the latter, I actually believe the truth resides somewhere in the middle. Obviously, contentment is the sign of a peaceful heart fully surrendered to Christ. However, one could argue that the more money one has, the more money one can give. The higher your ranking at your job, the wider your influence can spread. While we are called to contentment as followers, we are also called to excellence. Is it possible to be both rich in worldly resources and content in an eternal Savior at the same time?
I want to be clear with something that is not often said: It is okay to be rich if you are a Christian. Riches are one of the many tools we can use to build God’s kingdom here on earth. It is also okay to be poor as a Christian. It is often our poverty that most powerfully highlights our need for Christ. The question is not really how much or how little you have, but a question of contentment versus complacency.
Complacency speaks of self. Self-satisfaction in our riches. Uncritical of the areas where we lack. Complacency is an immoveable place of stuck-ness.
Contentment on the other hand speaks of peace. It speaks of wholeness. Whether wallet is full or empty, the contented heart is always fulfilled in Christ.
When we have Jesus, we will be content with much and with little, because in him we have everything that matters.
PRAYER: “Dear God, I want to give you thanks for the areas where I have margin, as well as the areas where I lack because I know that in everything, you are with me. I pray you would help rip me from complacency and lead my heart to peaceful contentment in you today.”