Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gain in Contentment

1 Tim. 6:6-10 (ESV)
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, [7] for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. [8] But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. [9] 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. [10] 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.
Gain in godliness with contentment. I’ll say there is great gain in godliness with contentment, obviously, not the gain of monetary wealth, neither the gain of “Jewels in your future crown.” I think Paul is playing on words here. That if you can master contentment you have gained a lot. Lord, do I wish for contentment! I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t mastered that. I want contentment. Catch me tomorrow though, I’ll want a new car. To be honest I should have no desire for anything. I should be thrilled with what I have. I have many things to be thankful for. I have a wonderful wife, a great son, a beautiful house. I count it as one of my many great blessings to have a patient and generous congregation. And my car works. Friends, I have great friends.
I read Ecclesiastes often, at least once a year. It helps me with this contentment thing. There is nothing more to life than taking pleasure in the wife of your youth, the food and wine you drink, and the work of your hands. It is a truly blessed man that can take joy in his work. I have to say I take Joy in my work. It can be hard at times, stressful too. Last week was one of those weeks where it was tough. Watching a beloved parishioner die day by day is not easy. Though in a strange way some what satisfying, knowing you could be there for them with the word of God. I don’t know how this next week is going to shape out. I’m writing this Sunday evening, with a great deal of apprehension. I have VBS coming and nothing seems to be starting out all that well. I haven’t been in the office much the last couple of weeks, and I would like to get a bit ahead of schedule before John comes again, in two weeks. So I have a bit of work piled up for me to do, and I’m not sure when it will be done. I try to remember Luther’s words about the more that needs to be done, the more I pray. That is good advice. Prayer and devotion, are great paths to contentment. In a month it will all be over, and confirmation will be starting again. I bet the church still stands and I still have the job I love. So why do I stress.
God, give me contentment. You work all things for good for those who love you. I have no reason to worry. It’s in your hands.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Godliness with contentment is great gain! Hmmm...sounds a bit like love & marriage and faith & baptism...*: )