A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT by Brandon Young
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:6-8, NIV
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.
2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV
Good morning Pleasant Grove!
This is Brandon Young from your worship team!
I wish to impart some thoughts on the importance of simplicity in living. I once heard the phrase “It is not what we have but what we can throw away.” This saying has stuck with me as I contemplate what it means to live without ties to possessions.
1 Timothy speaks of great contentment that opposes the desire to find value only in this world. Even so, we live in a culture that invites us to not make sacrifices for our faith and to live in comfort with all the luxury we can find. Wealth, health, and comfort are often labeled incorrectly as blessings: a new car; a kitchen fully stocked with expensive appliances and unhealthy food, and shelves of useless items bought out of want. If folks enter a home that looks rather barren, it is common to judge them for not filling up their house with stuff.
What would life look like to throw away what we do not need? For Christians, the line of simplicity is drawn by what 2 Corinthians describes as “godly sincerity.” A desire to live with intentional simplicity and godly sincerity is as opposed as possible to the “comfort culture” we live in. We know that we take nothing with us when we depart this physical world, yet we still fight the urge to live as though our possessions keep us safe and bring us joy. What if we desired to live simply for God, consistently reminding ourselves of 1 Timothy 6 that godliness with contentment is great gain?
Earthly wisdom says that the wealth and treasures of this world ought to be stored up and displayed so that we may boast. Yet the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:12 says “our boast is in the testimony of our conscience, …simplicity and godly sincerity.”
Would our salvation be diminished if we were to throw away (or give away) many of our comforts? Certainly not! Instead, we may open up space for God that we did not conceive of before. I encourage all of us to walk around our homes, taking stock of our earthly possessions, and imagine how we might feel if we gave away our favorite worldly items. What things do we value too highly and what things might we not value enough? It is by the grace of God alone that we find joy in this life, it does not come from our stuff. The love and purpose that comes from knowing Christ far outweighs anything we might obtain on this earth. We should strive to consider all things rubbish compared to knowing Him and live with simplicity and godly sincerity. To God be the glory!