Contentment & Great Gain

Did you know that global advertising spending was estimated at 781 billion last year and is expected to reach 885 billion US dollars by the end of 2024? The United States makes up between 250-300 billion of that advertisement spending alone.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with comprehending just how much a billion is, much less 885 billion. Let’s try to visualize it.

  • Sixty (60) seconds equal one minute.
  • One thousand (1,000) seconds is equal to 16 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • One hundred thousand (100,000) seconds equals almost 28 hours.
  • One million (1,000,000) seconds equals 11 ½ days.
  • One billion (1,000,000,000) seconds is almost 32 years.
  • 885 billion (885,000,000,000) seconds is equal to 28,320 years.

Why is so much money poured into marketing? I surmise that it’s because it works. We’re all guilty. We see a new advertisement on our phones, an ad in a magazine, or hear about the latest gadget on the radio and immediately start wanting it. Our eyes are drawn to our neighbor’s newest vehicle, our friend’s newest furniture piece, or a co-worker’s newest electronic device. We are consumer driven.

If not careful, all this advertising can lead to covetousness. God’s Word tells us not to covet. It is the 10th Commandment (Exodus 20:17). In the book of Hebrews, we are admonished to keep our life free from coveting and to be content with such things we have because God has told us He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). A covetous person is an unthankful person.

The sin of covetousness kills a Christian’s testimony. It also hinders spiritual growth. I know this because when I have my eyes on the things of this world, my eyes are off God. When I focus on my wants, I’m not content with my needs. When I store up treasures for myself here on earth, I neglect to store up heavenly treasures. In it all, I become worldly minded, not spiritually minded.

If we could just learn contentment. Oh, what a treasure it is. Contentment makes the poorest man wealthy. In contrast, covetousness makes a wealthy man poor, never satisfied, and never content.

The Apostle Paul knew a lot about contentment. While in prison for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul wrote to the Philippian church. He told them that he had learned in whatever situation, in any and every circumstance, and in abundance or in need to be content. He said it was possible through the strength of Christ (Philippians 4:11-13). In 1 Timothy, he writes to his son in the faith on the same subject. “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 raiment let us be therewith content,” 1 Timothy 6:6-8. Godliness with contentment is great gain. What a statement! Unfortunately, too many Christians have it backwards. They live a life that says, “I’m content with my godliness. Just give me great gain!”

God help me strive to be godly, for you tell me to be holy for You are holy.  Lord, help me to make every effort to live a pure life in this world.  Father, help me to be content with the things that You give me.  I realize that every perfect gift comes from above.  Help me to give you honor and glory in my life and live as a light set on a hill in this dark world.  Help me to take to heart that godliness with contentment IS great gain and help me live accordingly. 

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