vv 6-8 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
There is a massive drive in society to make us want ‘stuff’. It is as if the possession of ‘stuff’, cars, IT equipment, gadgets, fashionable clothes, … you name it, somehow make us superior people. I’ve heard it said “Sure, I didn’t bring it into the world, and I can’t take it with me when I leave, BUT I might as well enjoy it while I am here.” It is a common philosophy that puts the selfish ME at the centre of life, and ignores this ancient outlook that contentment in life is at the heart of real pleasure. A life in tune with God, and contentment with what He offers me, is worth much more than ‘stuff’.
Now that runs counter to what society advertises. The shop will say, this is ESSENTIAL, and you will be right to say ‘How come?’ It may advertise its product as the latest and best – and of course YOU need it. Just perhaps we, as individuals, have to learn to question more thoughtfully that kind of pressure. There is a huge gulf between ‘I need’ and ‘I want’. Learning to negotiate the gap with contentment is one of the secrets of joy in life. Wealth lies not in the possession of any stuff, but in the inner experience of contentment.