But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Tim. 6:8)

I had a close encounter with the Kogi people, descendants of the indigenous Tayrona, in Santa Marta, Colombia. They have their own language and live in a coastal mountain range in the northern part of the country. When I first saw them, I was impressed by their simplicity. They make their own clothes, collect their own food, and live as a self-sufficient community. Some would call them primitive, unsophisticated, or uncivilized. They, however, are content with how they live.

There is something to be said about living a life of simplicity and contentment. As Paul eloquently put it, we do not bring anything into the world, and we can take nothing out of it either. He called Timothy to be content and to resist the desire to be rich. What is the point of giving our lives away to have things that are not life giving?

Living life to accumulate wealth and objects of consumption is a trap. Contentment is an act of subversion against the spirit of this age. It is a demonstration of resistance against the powers of consumption. The Kogi people are content with who they are, and the only thing they resist is dispossession of their land by those who want to profit from it. We are not the exception; we too are called to be content.

Give away something you own that you do not need.

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.