10 June 2013

Happiness Is Found in Contentment

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:6–10)
photo credit: KevinLallier via photopin cc
Let us be content with the portion God has given us of earthly things. God stands upon his sovereignty, and we must be content with God's allowance, though he gives others more. The good man pleaded: 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? . . . Do you begrudge my generosity?' (Matt. 20:13–15). If others have a better income and are more amply provided for, God is sovereign, and will give according to his pleasure. Nothing is deserved and therefore everything should be kindly taken with contentment. If a man is provided for by another's expense, we take it very ill if he murmurs and dislikes his diet. Certainly we are all maintained at free cost and should be content with what is put in our hands. God in wisdom knows what proportion is best for us. The shepherd and not the sheep chooses the pasture. Leave it to God to give what is suitable to your condition of life. God gives a portion as you are able to bear. Contentment itself is a gift of God and a great blessing. When our minds are suited to our condition, our earthly blessings are sweeter and more comfortable. Our happiness does not lie in abundance, but in contentment (Luke 12:15). All spiritual miseries may be attributed to either a war between a man and his conscience, or a war between his affections and his condition. There may be just as much love in a lesser portion as in a greater. There is the same affection to a younger child, though he does not have as large an allowance as his elder brother. The father loves him just as well. So a child of God may say, 'God loves me, though he has given another more than me.' Be content with what falls to your share in the gracious providence of God.

— Thomas Manton, as quoted in Voices from the Past, ed. Richard Rushing, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009).

Further Reading
Atheists to Start Hotline for Religious Doubters
What God Says About His Word
Witnessing to a Blank Stare

1 comment:

  1. That's one of my most favorite verses. I'm truly happiest when I've believed and lived that verse of truth in my daily life. My priorities line up, my heart which was laden with such heaviness and discontentment is lifted away and is filled with joy to the Lord.

    We should be totally satisfied-content that the work of Christ, His life, death and resurrection are enough for God to give us what we do not deserve.

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