So if we have enough food and clothing,
let us be content.
1 Timothy 6:8 NLT
I carried them out by the handfuls—a seemingly endless task.
Our move was complete—except for moving our clothes. Although my wife doesn’t buy fancy clothes—nor buy them from expensive stores, she loves new outfits…or at least new to her. Her closet brimmed with pants, dresses, and blouses.
Of course my closet didn’t look much better. The difference is I don’t buy new clothes. I don’t have to because my wife and mother do. By the time I finished emptying my closet, one car was full. Then I started on my wife’s. This filled the second car and taxed my nerves.
This is ridiculous, I thought. We both have enough clothes to wear for two months without washing. I thought of the old days when houses didn’t have closets. No need for them. As time progressed, closets were included, but they were small and dark. Not much to put in there. People had one or two Sunday go-to-meeting outfits and maybe a few pair of pants and shirts for work. And in developing or impoverished countries, this is still the case.
Paul’s instructions to young Timothy was for him to be content with food and clothing. I suppose we should throw shelter in the mix. Perhaps Paul takes for granted we’re smart enough to know we must have protection from the elements. But how much clothing or food?
When I was a teenager, contentment meant name brand jeans—Levis. It also entailed a certain brand of tennis shoes—Converse. And when it came to a bicycle, it had to have high handle bars and a banana seat. Later, my contentment was measured by larger things with higher price tags. I’m certainly not high maintenance, but neither am I satisfied with a Spam sandwich every night and two pairs of clothes.
But true contentment isn’t measured by things—or even power, notoriety, or recognition. Contentment is found in a restored relationship with my Creator, followed by my trusting Him to meet all my needs—not my wants. Since He is all-knowing, He knows what I need—along with how much of it. I don’t have to have mounds of anything; I do need mounds of His love and mercy.
Find contentment in a close and growing relationship with Christ. Nothing else will satisfy.