Contentment Is An Illusive Animal

6But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Contentment is an illusive animal. You can search for it all day long but if you are looking in the wrong places, you will not find it. Some will search in the piles of money they have or in and around their big mansion on the lake. They might even look for it in the trunk of their very fancy and expensive car. But, their searching is to no avail. Why?

When you search for contentment you must have the proper equipment, which includes God’s word, a repentant heart and a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. These tools will prevent you from falling into temptation or harmful desires created by Satan.

As Paul says in verse 10 above, “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. If you pursue it too long you will wander away from the faith and be pierced by many griefs.” If you believe God’s word to be true, then you will also find it to be your greatest source of contentment. God makes many promises to his children (that’s us) stating He will take care of every need we have.

All the devil has to offer is empty promises, deceit and lies.

The next time you find yourself pursuing that promotion to the exclusion of all else, or spending the last bit of your paycheck to buy lottery tickets in hopes of winning the big one, then you may find you’ve fallen into the devil’s trap. He makes all of this look great but in the end, you will find yourself miserable and wishing you’d made the right choice of finding contentment with Jesus.

A final thought so supremely captured in verse 7 above says, “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.” Trust in God to be happy until He calls you home to the supreme contentment of your life, in heaven.

Is Temptation A Sin?

Temptation, by its very nature, feels wrong. God’s moral law is written in the heart of every human being (Romans 1:20), and when a sinful temptation is introduced, our consciences immediately sense danger. However, the temptation itself is not the sin. Jesus was tempted (Mark 1:13; Luke 4:1-13), but He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Sin occurs when we mishandle temptation.

Since Satan is the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the father of lies (John 8:44), all evil originates with him. However, our own selfish nature is an ally of Satan’s. We need no prompting from Satan to entertain sinful ideas.

Even though we may desire to do good, we are all tempted. No one is above it, even someone like the apostle Paul. He shared his own struggle of flesh against spirit when he wrote in Romans 7:22-23, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”

Temptation is not of itself sinful. It becomes sin when we allow the temptation to become action, even in our minds. Lust, for example, is sin even though it may never be acted upon (Matthew 5:28). Covetousness, pride, greed, and envy are all sins of the heart; even though they may not be apparent to anyone else, they are still sin (Romans 1:29; Mark 7:21-22).

The best defense against giving in to temptation is to flee at the first suggestion. Joseph is a great example of someone who did not allow temptation to become sin (Genesis 39:6–12).

Romans 13:13-14 (ESV) gives us a guideline for avoiding situations that can lead to temptation. “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” If we determine to “make no provision for the flesh,” we will keep ourselves out of situations that may prove too tempting.

God promises to provide a “way of escape” when we are tempted (1 Corinthians 10:13), but often that way is to avoid the situation altogether.

We have a responsibility to pay attention to the direction God is leading us and avoid temptation whenever we can.