Contentment in Godliness

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Contentment in Godliness

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. 

About The Author
Anne Peterson
Anne Peterson
Hi, I'm Anne. I am a poet, speaker and published author of 42 Bible Studies as well as more than 30 articles with, a Christianity Today website. Two of my Bible studies are published in Bible Study Faith & Work, published by Thomas Nelson. My poetry is sold through gift stores throughout the United States and in 23 countries. I have written my memoir, Broken: A Story of Abuse and Survival, Real Love: Guaranteed to Last, and the author of three children’s books: Emma’s Wish, and The Crooked House, stories illustrated by her daughter Jessica. I’ve also written Lulu’s Lunch. Sonny Follows His Heart is still another children’s book, soon to be released, illustrated by my husband Michael. And Make Believe will be my first poetry book published. This book was written as I looked at the photographs which my daughter made and then wrote poems. I live in Peoria, Illinois with my husband Michael. We’ve been married for 39 years and we have two children and four grandchildren. I love telling stories and playing with words. I am a poet, published author and speaker, but the title I most love is Grandma. Blog: Facebook:
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  • writerika
    September 24, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Comparison to others is so foolish, but so easy! Thanks for the reminder that keeping our eyes on the Lord is how we stay content. 🙂

    • March 30, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      Thanks for reading, and for your comment. I’ve struggled with this in the past in so many areas. The enemy of our soul knows we make comparisons. But it’s not a good path. No one wins.

  • September 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks for reading Erika,
    I always get in trouble when I compare, but that temptation is there before me all the time. I think one verse that I’m reminded of is the one where Jesus tells his disciples if he decides to let them stay till he comes, what is that to them? They are to follow him. Same applies to us.

  • Kim Penix
    September 24, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Great reminder Anne!  My prayer is that I can begin seeing others through Christ’s eyes as well and focus on hearts instead of possessions!

  • September 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Kim Penix
    Kim, thanks for reading. Seeing others through Christ’s eyes is a great prayer. We get in trouble when we look as the world looks on outward appearances. And only God knows what’s in the hearts of those we interact with. I remember one time speaking and the Lord nudged me to talk about my bitterness. “You want me to talk about WHAT?” I quietly argued with him. But I did it. And afterwards a woman approached me to say, “You were talking about me.” Only God knows the hearts of others, but he can guide and direct us.

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