September 26

1 Timothy 6:6-12 

for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.” vss. 7-8

This little letter of pastoral instruction was written somewhere around the end of the first century and offers some bits of wisdom for people of faith. The writer maintains that there is “great gain in godliness combined with contentment,” and we would likely agree. But it’s not as easy to achieve this as it may seem. Godliness can be a stretch–but it’s not nearly so hard as contentment. We can usually figure out ways to lead a decent life and at least participate in periodic worship and prayer, but it really tough to live like a minimalist and be content with only food and clothing. We love our stuff! And most of us spend a good portion of our lives accumulating all the extras. Naturally if we’re going to live like that we’re going to need a ton of money and that’s where things really get tricky. In our desire to get more we spend precious time and energy and can end up neglecting the godliness part of the equation big time. It’s not that the money is bad–it’s the love of money that gets us in trouble–in fact we’re told here that the love of money is the root of all evil. Fortunately, there’s a kind of wisdom that comes with aging. As we get rid of our things we discover contentment–and we wonder, “Why couldn’t this have happened sooner?”

Thought for the Day: What do I need besides food and clothing for contentment?

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