Be Content

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is evident that we can carry nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.  But those who purpose to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all evils, for which some being greedy, have strayed from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”  1st Timothy 6:6-10


Writing this book had been on my mind for quite some time.  Seems like that early in 2024, this book is looking to be very well likely to be useful to some.  Unlike other books about finances, even Christian books, this book doesn’t tell you how to get out of debt, how to save for retirement, pay for college, etc., in fact I would be a very poor example of providing information on some of those things and there are already those who have written such books.


What the focus of this book is, is simply this: to point the readers to understand biblical principles of finances, things that they then can use to make a decision, before God, based upon personal direction, prayer, as well as the foundations of biblical advice, avoiding the snares that come upon doing things that are contrary to the Bible’s way, which is the correct way.


As this has been on my mind for quite some time, particularly this chapter, thinking about just the basis for understanding just –Who- it is who provides for mankind:


“Who gives food to all flesh, for His mercy is eternal.”  Psalms 136:25


While certainly there are choices that can be put before us, one could go to college, join the military, take this job or that job, move here or there, do this or that, as the Lord leads, but there are also just as many instances where due to some sort of circumstances the plans simply don’t seem to work out as one had prepared and planned.


“A man’s heart devises his way, but Jehovah arranges his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9 


That ‘American’ dream doesn’t seem to fit the bill, the things that one assumed would be easily attainable, simply don’t seem to be, for many this is how it is, for others it is not, this is good and right before our Creator.


“Therefore I say to you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?   Observe the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by being anxious is able to add one cubit to his stature?  So why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear?  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.   Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  Matthew 6:25-34


Certainly I am no stranger to having –worried- about finances, anxious about things or even disappointed about certain aspects where ‘I could’ve’, but it did not turn out that way.  You see, it is very easily to get distracted, to not produce or produce little fruit (Mark 4:19), which is contrary to the great work of God and something that we would do well to quickly get back on track regarding focusing on Christ, the things of God, the riches found only in Him (Ephesians 3:8).


Now for those who perhaps were more apt to closely or actually obtain that which they sought to obtain, that which God allowed them and prospered them, understand also this:


“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be high-minded, nor to trust in the uncertainty of riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.  Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”  1st Timothy 6:17-19


Something interesting happened to me, providing an understanding that before I even finished this book, I am already considered mentally ill for these written words, though they are based upon the Word of God!


Late at night, trying to stay awake, driving home from a few miles out of town, I flipped on the AM radio station to hear a woman talking about finances.  She mentioned this idea that was going around on social media and then repeated the same mantra that was being pushed through these venues.  This ideology gave me some understanding to what I see when I am out and about in town, doing some shopping or running errands, as well as partially explaining how everything, thus far, has continued on, despite the incredibly high inflation, record credit card debt and the incredible housing prices.


In a nutshell, what she states enthusiastically was a rehash of an old idea, but with a twist.  In my younger years we often heard and sometimes repeated that ‘you only live once’ and sometimes this might be used to splurge on an item that would normally be skipped (though more often to try and do something erratic), however, this new one was a bit different:


“You are never going to be rich, so you might as well live richly.”AM Radio, Host Unknown, Late Night Show


She then went on to proclaim that those who tell you to live on a tight budget, to cutback, etc., are mentally ill.  Apparently this idea is spreading like wildfire on social media, so I guess this book, which is based upon biblical principles, is already condemned by the world.  Yet for me I will continue to follow what God says, this from personal experience that trying things other ways often have unintended consequences.


So now we have to consider that our focus must be on Christ and that –requires- contentment.  For if we are to be pleasing to Him, to be truly following Him, doing His good work, then our focus has to be on Him, if it is on those things that we can seemingly not obtain, nor figure out how to obtain, then we are going to find ourselves in a condition that is distracted from fully following Christ:


“No one is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. It is not possible to serve God and mammon.”  Matthew 6:24


Does this mean we can not have goals?  No.  Can we save for retirement?  Sure!  How about a house?  Sure!


Can we go to college to get a better education for a better job?  Why not?  However, all of these things must be according to the will of God, but there is nothing necessarily wrong with doing such things.


This book is providing principles of biblical finances, not stating that if you work at an entry level job you can not get the training to become a ‘higher up’ in that same industry.  In fact the Bible is full of hardworking godly men who obtain, with the grace of God, obtained positions of importance, due to their trust in God and following His ‘work ethic’ (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17 & 3:23).


The problem lies when someone or a family finds themselves in a predicament where they can not save for retirement, can not obtain a home that they own or attend college when they want to.  There are numerous reasons that such things happen, of which I could readily attest, but we are also told the following:


“I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in everything I am taught both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to lack.”  Philippians 4:12


There are times where there might be plenty and then there are times where we might wonder how God will provide the next meal, but in both of these our attitude needs to be proper before our Creator.  Certainly these things can be easier said than done, but that certainly should be what we strive to obtain, that godly attitude through prayer and focusing on serving Christ, understanding that our citizenship is in Heaven, not here on this earth (Philippians 3:20).


Some people grow up in ‘comfortable’ countries where there is an abundance and the poor in those countries are often much better off than the poor in other countries.  We have a lot of free aid in the United States and I have seen first hand the aid of other countries, as well as knowing that there is simply no aid in various countries around the world.


There are plenty of ‘poor’ people in the United States eating free meals from organizations, their food being much better provided than those who live in portions of the world, such as parts of Africa, this is the reality.  Yet God is the Creator of each and every soul (Psalms 139:15), so in essence, He is in charge of where one is born, into what country, etc.  Don’t think for a minute that living in a ‘comfortable’ country is necessarily all it is thought of, for the deceitfulness of riches is a VERY large distraction, whereas someone from a poorer country will look towards their Creator for provisions, seeking Him daily (Revelation 3:14-21).


“And behold, one came and said to Him, Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?  So He said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.  He said to Him, Which? Jesus said, You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  The young man said to Him, All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?  Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow Me.  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions.  Then Jesus said to His disciples, Truly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.  And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, Who then can be saved?  But Jesus looked at them and said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:16-26


The world we live in has a drive of never ending trinkets, gadgets, as well as high-end consumer goods and endless items that can be purchased.  Never in the history of mankind could one find such a selection of merchandise that could be purchased, whether online or at a retail store.


The same would be true with the endless flooring options, bathroom vanities, kitchen cupboards, counters, appliances, carpeting, wood, tile & vinyl flooring, endless options to make your home –as you want- through selections at retailers who offer a quick loan on the spot.  This is to say nothing of vehicles, boats, RV’s, outdoor gear and numerous other genres of stuff that could be had!


Do you want a gym in your house?  How about your garage?  Do you have a 4-wheeler or a snowmobile, perhaps both?  Do you have a trailer to haul the things you buy or to take the things that need to go to the dump when you remodel or decide to cleanup a bit?  Do you have that classic ‘project’ car you are working on?  How about the tools and parts needed to do so?  Is your landscaping ‘just so’, do you have it up to par?  There is not necessarily anything wrong with these things, if our focus is on Christ.  The problem lies when our focus is on the things of the world, for those who try to fulfill these sorts of lusts will find that they are never full.


“Sheol and Abaddon are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”  Proverbs 27:20


Now a question has to be asked and this is an individual heart issue between themselves and God Almighty, at what point does consumerism become covetousness?


“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.”  Exodus 20:17


The other day I was driving through a neighborhood that I hadn’t been in before.  There was someone who had some really fancy landscaping, but when you looked at the immediate neighbors, two or three of them also had a ‘copy’ of that persons landscaping, though with not nearly the same amount of detail or money invested.


It has been stated as a fact, that when someone in a neighborhood wins the lottery, not necessarily talking about the millions upon millions or billions, but a large chunk of money (perhaps a million?), that their neighbors are numerous times more likely to go bankrupt as they watch them fix up their home, yard, remodeling and purchasing new cars, boats, etc.


If you were to consider these things and observe, you can readily see these basic concepts, often with the root being coveting, around you more frequently that you would imagine.  The discussion here is not about rich neighborhoods where everyone who lives there clearly can afford the expensive items, but rather your average or slightly better than average ‘middle class’ neighborhoods that are predominately in every smaller city or newer suburban area of a major metropolitan neighborhood.


One thing that also needs to be addressed, as the Bible does address this discussion, is contentment with wages.


“Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, And what shall we do? So he said to them, Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”  Luke 3:14


So this biblical principle is indeed found in the Holy Scriptures and we see a society in the United States where there has been a lot of employee shortages, shortages that still continue as of this publishing in many different industries.


While the absolute root causes of this issue is not a point of discussion for this section about contentment and also not completely known by the industry insiders who are still trying to grapple with this newfound problem, there has been many complaints about wages.  Of course, the first thought to someone who complains about their wages would be that I do not understand or somehow this biblical principle can not be followed OR even that they are justified in their beliefs.


Rather than anyone allowing themselves to jump to a conclusion such as that, I would actually say that there is some justification to these complaints, justification that is not based upon my opinion or yours, but rather the Word of God.  In other words, what you will see in the final section of this chapter is that God is actually in agreement that in the last days there are these rich people, mostly pointed to large corporations, Wall Street, etc., who have kept back your wages and grown filthy rich.


So then how can it be to be content, if there is some sort of agreement here from the Bible?  Can both be in union, can both ideas be merged?  Certainly!


For you see, that what is provided for us is provided by God’s hand, you receive the provisions through whatever means that He desires and when something else is truly needed, He will provide that also, in His own way.  Those who purposely get rich off of the poor laborers are going to reap what they sow (Galatians 6:7) by God Almighty and that is a very fearful thing (Hebrews 10:31).


“For Jehovah God is a sun and shield; Jehovah will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk in integrity.”  Psalms 84:11



“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no change or shadow of turning.”  Jacob (James) 1:17


There are many who are poor, in fact oftentimes it seems that those who are truly Saved are not of the richer sort in terms of money.  Though it seems that God keeps some of them on the higher end, not for their own self gain, but rather to share (1 Timothy 6:17-19) and fund the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), which is incredibly expensive, should you consider it.  There is more to be said, but it is another topic in the Do Not Worry chapter.


So then there is one more class to address and that is a certain type of rich.


Consider also that the ‘merchants’ (Revelation 18:3) of the earth, who sell these wares, desire for ones’ eyes to never be full so that they can never stop selling and making more money, for their coffers are never full enough and their riches have no known end, but rather they will walk contrary against godly contentment.


They store up, they prepare their homes for the coming calamities, certainly they know they will eventually come.  They have houses in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere in the prairie (I have seen such things with my own eyes on a one-lane road in the middle of absolute nowhere in Montana), bunkers, yachts ready to be on the open sea, islands, international bank accounts, numerous citizenships of foreign countries, warehouses of goods and now from my understanding, a desire to begin to figure out how to flee to Mars!


There is no end of collecting unjust gain for them and instead of repenting towards God and by faith believing into Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Acts 20:21), they have chosen to live in disbelief, but enough belief to prepare for the calamities that they know are coming, blinded by the ‘god of this world’ (2 Corinthians 4:4) whom deceitfully assures them that they will survive (Isaiah 14:3-18, Revelation 6:16, Obadiah 1:4, Amos 9:2).


These people will advertise, push you, use the peer pressure of society that they mould, to get you to walk contrary to Jesus Christ and to live with their concepts, their ungodly principles, rather than following Christ with your whole heart.  They are assured restitution for their deeds from God, but understand, dear Believer, that we must be able to be content, to be poor or rich, to abase or abound, to follow the biblical principles that God has laid out in His Word, not to follow that which is all around us, that which is passing away (1 John 2:17).  For here is the end of those who promote such things, as well as prepare for the end of the world.


“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your calamities that are coming upon you.  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.  Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.  Indeed the wages of the laborers who reaped your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.  You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.  You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.  Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.  You also be patient. Make your hearts firm, for the coming of the Lord draws near.   Do not grumble against one another, brethren, that you not be condemned. Behold, the Judge stands at the door.”  Jacob (James) 5:1-9