The apostle Paul gave Timothy the following instruction. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
The word translated as godliness means piety, which is reverence and devotion to God. It describes an attitude that is centered on God and does that which is well-pleasing to Him. Contentment is the feeling of satisfaction one has with one’s possessions, status, or situation. Godliness with contentment would be to set one’s heart on God and on doing what pleases Him and be satisfied with the possessions, status or situation that God has given. The apostle Paul had learned godliness with contentment. Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Paul had put his faith and trust in Christ. He knew that whatever his situation, God still loved him and would carry him through. Romans 5:3-5 “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Rather than concentrate on his earthly situation, the apostle looked forward and prepared for his eternal home in heaven. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” When you put your focus on being ready for your eternal home, you too can have godliness with contentment. The things of this life are all temporary and will pass away; our eternal home will never pass away.
You brought nothing into this world. When you were born, you had no clothes and no possessions. When you die, you also take nothing with you. I have seen a picture of a hearse pulling a trailer. Whatever the purpose of the trailer, I am still convinced that whoever died did not take any possessions with him to the next life. I do not believe it is wrong to make your situation in life better if you are able. We are required to provide for ourselves and for our own household (1 Tim 5:8). If you can go to school or receive training or look for a better job to better provide for your household, then do it. From the Bible we learn that Paul, Aquila and Priscilla were tent makers; Lydia was a seller of purple; Luke was a physician; before they followed Jesus, Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen. The problem comes when making money consumes you and you do not have godliness; you do not put God in first place in your life.
The problem may also be that you desire to be rich or that you love money. Such an attitude has many problems. Money becomes your god; it is more important than your Heavenly Father. Since money or being rich is so important, you are likely to compromise your godly principles. Truth, honesty, justice, mercy, and righteousness will likely be compromised in your search for riches or money. You will fall into temptation, a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts. You will love the things of this world rather than the things of God. 1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” Money is not evil. But the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
Hebrews 13:5-6 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” My encouragement is that you have godliness with contentment. Put God first in your life; put your trust in Him that He will help you through the trials of life. Do not desire to be rich or love money, because it will pull you away from the faith and from God.