Contentment in Godliness

Written by: Anne Peterson
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It was reading day. We filed into the classroom, knowing we had better settle down our 4th grade minds quickly.

The shiny square box stood on a table to the side of the teacher’s desk. When we were quiet, we’d be dismissed one by one to stand before that shiny box and get the color coordinated card which designated our reading level.

I was green. I wanted to be red so badly, imagining how much better those stories might have been, packed with more excitement and adventure than my green ones. Those colors divided us. I mean how could you be friends with someone who was beneath your color? Classifications start early.

As we grow up there are still classifications. We judge others by their looks, their possessions or their relationships.

Yet in Scripture we see God values something else. In 1 Samuel, we can read about God’s choosing of King David to lead Israel, even though his brothers seemed like more obvious choices to other people. About David’s older brother, 1 Samuel 16:7 says: “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’”

God doesn’t see what see, but how can we be joyful while wishing we could read at the next level? How can we smile watching our neighbor drive his new car while we hope our old one makes it through another winter?

1 Timothy 6:6-11 has the answer – pursue God and be content: “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. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”

My job is to pursue godliness, to trust God’s leading in my life, and to keep my eyes on him instead of looking to the left or right.

By focusing on the great Provider instead of my desires, I will be reminded of how much he’s given me. For that I am grateful, and with that I am content.

How can you pursue contentment and godliness today?

Read an earlier post by Anne here.