By Allen Domelle, Old Paths Journal
1 Timothy 6:5-6
“Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
The prosperity gospel that seems to permeate our present religious programming of the day is obviously not a new thing. When Paul trained Timothy for the ministry, he dealt with the subject of gain and whether it made a person godly. The false prosperity gospel preachers of our day seem to make it sound as if gain will come if you are close to God. What these false preachers tend to leave out in their dialogue is that many in the Scriptures were destitute. In fact, the Scriptures teach that the Saviour didn’t even have His own place where to lay His head. Did that make Jesus an ungodly person? Most certainly not! The verses above teach several principles about gain that help you to understand God’s principle concerning gain.
First, gain does not make you godly. God never said that gain makes you godly. In fact, God said that you are to withdraw yourselves from those who teach that gain is godliness. Just because someone seems to have more than you does not make them more godly than you.
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Second, gain does not make you ungodly. God never said that gain was ungodly, but He taught that gain without contentment is ungodly. Just because someone has been blessed does not make them an ungodly person. I have known several people whom the LORD chose to bless who were very spiritual people. On the other hand, we all know people who have experienced much gain who are ungodly. Gain in itself does not make a person godly or ungodly. You cannot fall for Satan’s trap of determining your godliness by whether or not you financially gain.
Third, godliness is gain. The greatest possession one can obtain is a godly life. It is better to be financially poor and to gain godliness than to be spiritually destitute and financially wealthy. You will never go wrong with being like God. The more you are like God, the more you gain in life; not financial gain, but spiritual gain.
Fourth, godliness with contentment is more than gain; it is great gain. The wealthiest person in the world is not the person who has the most finances, but the wealthiest person in the world is the person who has all that they want while they live for God. My friend, it is not what you have that makes you wealthy, but being content to walk with God is the greatest gain you can acquire.
Fifth, it is being godly with contentment that brings the gain. God said that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” There are people who are content but not godly, and they are still empty in life. It is being godly that brings contentment, and godliness with contentment is what satisfies your soul.
Sixth, it is the focus of the action that keeps gain good. The key to these verses is that godliness is an action. In other words, doing what God would do is godliness. The only reason you are not content is because you are trying to find contentment through possessions and money instead of through Christlike actions. When you get busy serving the LORD, and your focus becomes what you can do to please the LORD with your life is when you will find the great gain of contentment that His life brings to your life.
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