On our regular drives to our church in Glenorie, we pass “The Contented Cat Inn” and remember how our little Burmese cat, Toots, used to stay there sometimes when we were going on holidays. Toots seemed very contented when we picked her up to go home again and, while we were away, we felt assured that she was safe, well-fed and looked after. That gave us peace of mind. Toots was contented and so were we!
One dictionary defines contentment’ as ‘a state of happiness and satisfaction, with ease of mind.’ When we think about this, how many of us can truly say that we LIVE in a state of contentment? Surely feelings of happiness and satisfaction are deeper, more lasting emotions than the way we often speak about them?
• ‘I’m happy that you came today.’
• ‘My new car makes me happy.’
• ‘I’m satisfied with that HSC mark.’
• ‘What a delicious, satisfying meal.’
The bible has a great deal to say about true contentment. The apostle Paul was a man who often suffered and went without the comforts of life, more than most people can imagine. (read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Yet he knew the secret of contentment.
He wrote: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
That brings us to the beginning of our quote: “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Psalm 73:26 tells us that, “My health may fail and my spirit may grow weak but God remains the strength of my heart. He is mine forever.”
Godliness, then, means living our life with God, His waythrough a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ, who came into this world for us, so that we “will know the truth and the truth will set us FREE.” (John 8:32).
Surely, this relationship of truth and freedom in Jesus Christ will bring us contentment and therefore great gain.” God bless!