Loving Money Ignores True Gain
“But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment” (1 Timothy 6:6).
True wealth is found in contentment, not in monetary gain.
Love of money and contentment are mutually exclusive. An ancient Roman proverb says, “Money is like seawater; the more you drink, the thirstier you get.” Ecclesiastes 5:10 summarizes the point this way: “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money.”
History has also demonstrated that no amount of riches can compensate for a lack of contentment. Millionaire financier John D. Rockefeller said, “I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” That wealthiest of industrialists, Henry Ford, was quoted as saying, “I was happier doing mechanic’s work.”
The Cynic and Stoic philosophers of Paul’s day were probably more content than any of the modern corporate tycoons. Those philosophers viewed the contented person as one who was self-sufficient, unflappable, and unmoved by outside circumstances. But true Christians have the best understanding of contentment because they know it comes from God. Paul told the Corinthian church, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5; see also 9:8).
The genuine believer, therefore, sees contentment as more than merely a noble human virtue. For him, it derives from the sufficiency God the Father and Christ the Son provide (Phil. 4:19). Thus a godly person is not motivated by the love of money but by the love of God (see Ps. 63:1-5).
The richest person is the one who needs nothing else because he is content with what he has. He adheres to the philosophy of Proverbs 30:8-9, “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or lest I be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.”
Loving money deprives us of the contentment the writer of Proverbs alluded to and Paul wrote about. Such greed also leaves us spiritually impoverished and ignores the great gain that comes from true godliness—hardly the end result any of us should settle for simply because the love of money dominates our life.
Suggestions for Prayer
Thank God that His daily and weekly provision has been and always will be sufficient for your needs.
For Further Study
Read Psalm 63:1-5.
What attitudes result from the psalmist’s efforts?
What additional insights does the prophet add in Isaiah 55:2 and 58:11?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.