I was driving home one day when I saw a group of people walking home. In the group were 2 female adults with 2 children walking in front of them. They had the biggest smile on their faces. Apparently, they were walking home too. I noticed that their home was just a very simple place and yet, they were filled with joy.
The ladies reminded me the simple joys in life do not cost a lot: spending time with loved ones, a leisure stroll and a simple meal. There were times when I sulked because I do not have what I wanted (not what I needed). Apostle Paul reminded his mentee Timothy that, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6, NIV).
Godliness is a life with God in the centre. Contentment is finding joy and satisfaction in what God has given to you. The opposite of contentment is greed and greed is like a bottomless pit, we will never be satisfied when greed is lurking in our hearts.
Contentment is something that we will learn as we walk with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is not in our human nature, it does not come naturally to us. Apostle Paul also said, “for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11, NIV). Paul learnt contentment through his own life experiences when God put him in situations where he would be in need, starved and also in situations when he had plenty and was well-fed (Philippians 4:12).
We can not keep what we have forever. Verse 7 and 8 tell us, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
Greed will lead us to do things that will bring terrible consequences. Apostle Paul continues, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction”(verse 9). People fell into destructions because of greed. Think about the news you have read this morning. Crimes were committed: robbing, stealing, cheating, murder, all because of wanting to get money quick. We grieve with the victims on the loss of their money, although some may also, out of greed, fell into these traps.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (verse 10). We can never have enough. We see something, and we want it. If we set money as our main objective in life, we will lose all that matter. “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (verse 10b). When the love of money is untamed, it brings us sorrow and griefs—not just status and power in the society.
Money does not bring joy as the social media claims. The celebrities may be living the lifestyles of the “rich and famous” but true joy does not come from money or fame.
May God help us, to live a life of joy and contentment. The next time when I catch myself grumbling because of what I do not have, I shall count the bountiful blessings which I have received from my God who loves me. The simple pleasures and joy in life do not come from money, but they come from God who “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).