Seek Contentment in God
Open Your Bible
1 Timothy 6:3-10, Ecclesiastes 5:10, Luke 12:13-34
BY Patti Sauls
It looked like Buddy was running for his life. Alone in his cage, our stout, honey-colored hamster raced on his wheel as fast as his stubby legs would take him. Poor guy! That flimsy wheel shook as Buddy wore himself out, running nowhere fast.
In today’s reading, Paul urged pastor Timothy to confront the false teachings that tempted his young church to run nowhere fast. Paul warned him specifically about those who “imagine that godliness is a way to material gain” (1Timothy 6:5). Timothy must reject the lie that promised financial blessing in exchange for faithfulness. Pursuing godliness—centering our lives on Jesus’s words and ways—should not be used to gain wealth. The Christian life is not about manipulating God for a stronger financial portfolio.
Here’s what this lie still offers us today: a hamster wheel. It tells us to hop on and run for our lives. On the wheel, we’re motivated by greed and powered by desperation. We compare and we judge. We envy and we covet. We don’t just want what others have; we want more. If we attempt to be obedient, we harbor resentment and expect payback. We may not consciously say it, but in our hearts we insist, “I work hard and play by the rules. I go to church. Heck, I even tithe. God owes me.”
But here’s the truth: God cannot be bought. Even if we do experience financial success, it will never be enough. “The one who loves silver is never satisfied with silver, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with income. This too is futile” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Money never delivers the deep contentment we crave. We keep running, always on the chase for more, yet never truly satisfied.
Why do our hearts wrestle with money? Having money in the bank is not the problem. But letting money have its way in my heart is. Loving and worshiping our accumulation of stuff, status, and security reveals our desire to seize control, assert independence, and reject God’s supremacy by declaring our own. Back on the hamster wheel we go, striving to be god of a flimsy kingdom of our own making.
True gain is found when we reject these lies. Contentment grows as we humbly center our lives on Jesus Christ because He has already secured our eternal identity and status. He is enough. We can be motivated by gratitude instead of greed, powered by delight instead of desperation. Resisting that shaky wheel is so much easier said than done. Our pride and insecurity tell us to run for our lives, to accumulate all we can. Can we admit that we’ll be tempted to hop back on again? We will. And, when we do, let’s lovingly remind each other that we can jump right off because Christ always catches us. To rest in Him, friends, is our greatest gain (1Timothy 6:6).