But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Tim. 6:6)

I remember the first time I unboxed a new smartphone. I was excited to have a phone with cutting-edge features and technology. The packaging was very nice. The phone was elegant. However, within a couple of years I was told I needed an upgrade. My phone still worked well, but some of its features were now incompatible with the most advanced technologies. I struggled inside of me. I wanted to upgrade, which meant buying another expensive phone, but I knew this was a sales strategy. I was being lured by an appeal to my own greed.

In his exhortation to Timothy, Paul warned his spiritual son against people who use the gospel of Jesus for financial gain. They were greedy. It looked like they were pursuing godliness, when in reality they sought financial benefits. It is unclear exactly what these people were doing, but whatever it was, it surely was a trap. Holy living is not a pathway to riches. Holy living is meant to produce contentment with what one has.

We live in a culture plagued by consumerism. It is not that we need more, but that we crave more. At times, even churches fall into the rhythms of consumerism by generating markets to profit from Christianity. However, instead of feeding those markets with our cravings, let us commit to contentment as a practice of holy living.

Pray for contentment, asking for nothing else.

Luigi Peñaranda is an assistant professor of Christian ministry at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.