Build a Satisfied Contentment

Scriptures: 1 Timothy 3:3
by Jacob Abshire on March 27, 2023

Conventional wisdom suggests that “money is power,” but we must ask ourselves: for whom and to what extent? More importantly, we must consider the cost. Let’s discuss your personal feelings about money and material possessions.

We have been walking through a list of godly qualities to examine each quality individually. We have learned the importance of having a blameless reputation, sexual purity, a sensible mind, restrained appetites, respectable attraction, responsive sympathy, powerful speech, continual soberness, stubborn calmness, persistent patience, and a peaceful pursuit. Now, we want to devote our attention to building a peaceful pursuit.

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

1 Timothy 3:1-7

This characteristic, like some of the previous ones, is expressed in a negative sense. It refers to an aversion to something. In the original language, it’s a compound word composed of “love” and “silver.” When negated, it literally means “not loving silver.” During biblical times, silver was their currency, just like cash and coins today. This quality means that a godly person should not be characterized by a love of money.

The Bible describes people who love money as short-sighted, self-absorbed, deceptive, and power-hungry. For instance, the Pharisees were frequently called “lovers of money” (Luke 16:14), as were false teachers, wicked people, and politicians. Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples, was also called a “lover of money.” He sold Jesus out for a bag of silver (John 12:3-6).

In 1 Timothy 6:10, Paul cautions us that the “love of money is a root of all sorts of evil,” and that some have wandered away from their faith by longing for it, causing themselves many sorrows. This passage helps us understand the implications of “love” and why it should be avoided. “Loving money” refers to the longing for it, and this is not just a problem for the rich. Even the poor may be tempted to long for money, but for different reasons. Unfortunately, this longing leads to “many griefs” that pierce our lives deeply, causing wounds and countless troubles. Therefore, a godly person should be averse to the love of money.

The Bible contains many warnings about the dangers of loving money, which can motivate us to avoid it. Here are a few examples that may interest you.

First, loving money can hinder our worship of God. As the Bible teaches, we worship what we love the most, and if money becomes our primary focus, it can choke out our love for God in favor of the worship of material things. Jesus warned that we cannot serve both God and money as masters, for we will love one and hate the other (Matthew 6:19-24).

Second, loving money can lead to evil. This applies to both believers and nonbelievers. A love of money can cause moral decay and is described as the “root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). This is evident in the percentage of lottery winners who go on to destroy their own lives. Studies show that they are worse off than they were prior to winning. Lottery winners often suffer from depression, substance abuse, and divorce, indicating that money does not always bring happiness.

Third, the love of money motivates sin. Self-centeredness, greed, jealousy, and other vices can take root when money becomes the primary goal. It can be a breeding ground for wicked desires, leading people to seek power over others for material gain.

Fourth, a love of money can destroy contentment. When we constantly long for more money, we are less able to be content with what we have. Ecclesiastes 5:10 tells us that those who love money will never be satisfied with it. The pursuit of money can deceive us into thinking that we need just a little bit more to be happy, but true fulfillment and contentment cannot be found in money (Luke 12:15).

Fifth, a love of money can increase oppression. Injecting more money into a society does not necessarily lead to freedom and independence. A love of money can result in a never-ending pursuit to acquire more, which can cause people to take advantage of the vulnerable. Lottery participants, who are often poor, do not benefit as much from the lottery as the state does, which benefits from the tax revenues generated by the sales and payouts. The love of money can increase the oppression of the poor.

The love of money is something we should avoid because it can harm us in many ways, including stifling our worship, causing evil, motivating sin, destroying contentment, and increasing oppression. Instead, we should seek to build a deep sense of contentment in Christ and what the Lord has given us. The Bible teaches us that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6).

The process of building this contentment starts with loving God and treasuring Christ. When we live for godliness, we gain contentment that is deeply satisfying. We must remember that Christ is all-sufficient and that He provides everything we need. If we keep our lives free from the love of money and focus on what we have, we can find contentment in Him. This is why God promises to remain with those who love Him and tells us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). When we have Christ, we have everything we need.

In summary, we must resist the temptation to long for money and instead cultivate a deep sense of satisfaction in Christ. By doing so, we will find contentment and peace, and we will be able to avoid the pitfalls of greed and materialism. Now, here are five steps to help you build a satisfied contentment.

Prioritize Your Affections

At the heart of this lesson is the importance of having a strong affection for Christ over money. Those who prioritize money above all else will find themselves worshiping it and ultimately experiencing ruin. Conversely, those who prioritize their love for Christ will experience satisfying contentment. To combat the love of money, you should consistently immerse yourself in the truth about Christ and all that He has done for you. This can be achieved by committing to daily Bible study and actively participating in your church. By prioritizing your affection for Christ, you will cultivate a love for Him that will help you overcome the desire for money.

Budget Your Money

The key to defeating the temptation to long for money is to master it before it masters you. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is through budgeting. A budget allows you to plan your monthly expenses and designate your money for specific items, such as bills, savings, and insurance. By doing so, you can prevent yourself from overspending and falling victim to the temptation of money. There are numerous resources available that can help you establish and stick to a budget that works for you.

Give to Others

Now that your affections are prioritized, you can also prioritize your giving. Giving is both good and rewarding, and a true expression of love for Christ. Your first priority should be giving to your local church. Beyond that, you may choose to give to a favorite charity, parachurch organization, or keep some cash on hand to help the homeless. Giving your money away is an effective way to prevent yourself from becoming overly attached to it. Additionally, the more you give, the more you will weaken the love of money in your life.

Save for Hardships

Your budget should include a dedicated portion for savings. Even if it’s not much, it should be intentional and possibly even sacrificial. After you give to God, pay your bills, and take care of other necessities, allocate a specific amount each week to a savings account. This money should not be drawn from regularly and is intended for emergencies, such as car repairs, broken appliances, or unexpected financial challenges. By doing so, you will relieve yourself of worry and be less tempted to covet money during times of trouble.

Pray for Contentment

God wants you to be content with all the provisions He has given you and to be satisfied in Him. By praying for contentment, you are seeking His help in developing a lasting satisfaction with His rule and reign in your life. Your godliness brings glory to God, and it should be your goal to keep Him on the throne of your heart so that money cannot take control.

A New Discipleship Resource

Creative Content for Christian Men

Instead of comments, I accept and encourage letters to the editor. If you want to write a letter to the editor, you can do so here.