Sunday Morning Soundbytes – 7/15/2007

Doing Church Together | Lou Kochanek

Yesterday’s message was the thirteenth in the Doing Church Together series from the book of 1 Timothy. The message was called, Choosing Contentment, taken from 1 Timothy 6:3-10.

1 Timothy 6:3-10 – 3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (NIV)

The main idea of the message was that you should choose contentment. Contentment is not dependent on your outward circumstances. It is dependent on your attitude and your will. Contentment is not something you gain or achieve in life. Contentment is something that you choose. Here is a brief recap of the message:

Choosing to be content is one of the basic principles of Christianity: learning to be satisfied in God above all other things. Choosing contentment for your life rather than discontent is one of the most important decisions you can ever make.

1) Watch out for false teachers seeking financial gain (verses 3-5)

Paul begins with a warning about certain teachers who did not choose to be content. They were not seeking God’s kingdom or truth, but were merely seeking financial gain for themselves.

2) Godliness with contentment is great gain (verses 6-8)

But godliness is not a means to financial gain; rather godliness with contentment is great gain in and of itself. The word “contentment” here speaks of having a sufficiency, or, having enough.

At some point in your life, you need to decide which of two words will rule your life when it comes to having things: either “more” or “enough.” If your answer is “more,” then no matter how much you get, you will always want more. But if your answer is “enough,” then no matter how much or how little you have, you will always be satisfied and content. Choosing contentment means deciding that you will let go of the word “more” in your life and hold on to the word “enough.”

We really don’t need a lot in order to be content or to have enough in life. If we have the basic necessities of life, then we can say, “I have enough,” rather than “I want or need more.”

3) The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (verses 9-10)

If godliness with contentment is great gain, then what is the alternative? Paul goes on to say in verses 9-10 that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. The phrase “people who want to get rich” is literally “people who want to have an abundance” or, I suppose we could say, “people who want to have more than enough.” You see, we are back to the choice of “more” or “enough.”

There is nothing wrong with money itself. Money is a tool that can be used to help others and to further God’s kingdom. But it is the love of money that can be a root of all kinds of evil. Love of money violates the first commandment – “You shall have no other gods before me,” (Exodus 20:3) and the tenth commandment, “You shall not covet.” (Exodus 20:17)

Which word would you say characterizes your life? “More?” Or “enough.” It doesn’t just have to be about money. Some people want more out of their marriage or more out of their church or more out of their job or more out of their life. They have never learned to say, “I have enough.” They have never learned to be content. And so they go from church to church, or job to job, or even from marriage to marriage always looking for something more.

Choosing contentment means being satisfied with God and with what God has given you in Christ. Being thankful for the many blessings you already have instead of constantly wanting more or different blessings. Seeking to live a godly life that pleases God in every way. Godliness with contentment is great gain. Choose contentment.

Note: To read the complete message, go to the Sermons tab at the top of the blog.

7 Comments

  1. Tom says:

    Having been present at this sermon….
    This was a great “take-home” line…..
    “You see, we are back to the choice of “more” or “enough.””

    We have already been using this at our house when faced with choices on what we should be buying. Is it “MORE” or “ENOUGH” ?

    Thanks Ray!

  2. Greg Johnson says:

    Good Word Ray. Thanks for sharing.

    gaj

  3. Bethany says:

    Another great take-home line I heard somewhere was “Contentment is not getting what you want;it’s wanting what you have.” That one stuck, but I can’t remember who said it! It reminds me to be grateful for what I have, instead of longing for something I don’t.

    Another practical way to avoid discontentment, for me anyways, is to shop as little as possible, and to toss catalogs without looking at them. I start to see stuff I didn’t even know I wanted until I saw it! Better to not see it and be content. 🙂

  4. Jeff says:

    Debbie and I will often try to define “want” vs. “need” for our family expenditures and often times this will fend off impulse spending or even tone down the amount of $ of the item we are contemplating purchasing. An example would be when we “needed” to purchase a mini-van as our family was getting larger (#1 son now 6’2″) and our wagon was reaching upwards of 150,000 miles with tranny problems and was not reliable enough for long trips. What I “wanted” was a nice 1 or 2 year old Toyota Sienna or Honda Odessey mini van with all the bells and whistles. What we “needed” was a 7 passanger van that was reliable. We ended up with a reliable Ford Windstar that I purchased at an auction for not much money and it fills the need and saved me probably $12,000.

  5. Sharon Gamble says:

    One of the best books I have read on this subject is Margin, by Richard Swenson. The first half is a bit academic as he over-proves the case that we are too consumed with busy lives and consumer goods. However, his practical suggestions on how to simplify are phenomenal. I learned so much from it all about living simply and being contented with less.

  6. Ray Fowler says:

    Sharon, I agree, Swenson’s book is great on this. Since reading it, the word “margin” has become part of our regular household vocabulary.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Thoreau and Ryken: Quotes on Contentment at Ray Fowler .org

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