The Pulpit Commentary says of this text: “the godly man is content with what he possesses; submits meekly to God’s will, and bears patiently the adverse dispensations of his providence. The godly heart is freed from the thirst for perishing treasures, because it possesses treasures of a higher and more enduring character.”
It adds: “Men are rich in what they can do without… Let us study, not so much what we may secure, as what we are able to enjoy existence without. Men multiply their cares often as they multiply their means; and some men, with competency in a cottage, have not been sorry that they lost a palace. ‘Contentment is great gain;’ it sets the mind free from anxious care; it prevents straining after false effect; it has more time to enjoy the flowers at its feet, instead of straining to secure the meadows of the far-away estate.”
The less you need, the more freedom you enjoy.
And here is the heart of Paul’s argument: “for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” Materially speaking, we live in a segment of time between two nothings. What few things we accumulate during threescore and ten (possibly) must all be left behind at the end of life. Not one knows when that end will come, or if Christ may come before death ends man’s earthly journey. Therefore, the sensible thing is to live for Christ daily, laying up riches above while enjoying this pilgrimage through consecrated Christian living.
While others strive for added earthly treasures, let us appreciate God’s daily blessings and be content with them.
Now you know the ultimate in success.
Godliness with contentment is great gain.