Paul wrote, "But 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." (1Timothy 6:6-8) "Godliness" is the complete result of the practice of New Testament Christianity. “Godliness” is having great reverence for God or being pious. "Contentment" is being satisfied or showing satisfaction with things as they are, enjoying well being and content.


Around us there is evidence of progress in medicine, science, technology and travel. Areas where there is an obvious lack of progress are in the matters of "godliness" and contentment." We should all strive to develop a likeness to God that radiates with contentment.


"We brought nothing into this world." This is true in a physical sense. A human baby is very helpless and dependent. We did not even bring enough strength into the world to care for ourselves. We did not bring our home, our job or our bodies into this world. Job said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21)


Everything that we have is a stewardship or a loan from God. The rich and poor are alike both in birth and in death. We brought nothing into the world and we will take nothing out! On the other hand we do take our character from this life. We also take our memories and friendships from this life.


"It is certain we can carry nothing out." This thought reminds us that we will have to go out of this world. We are here only temporary. "But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes." (Psalm 82:7) We are spirits that dwell in a temporary body on earth. The main reason that we will carry nothing out of this world is that we do not need our earthly substances in the world to come.


In Ecclesiastes 5:15-16 Solomon pondered the fact that we can take nothing out of this world. He said, "As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?"


"Having food and raiment." "Food" includes all the nourishment that is necessary to sustain our physical body. "Raiment" is the necessary covering for our body. This provides the necessary things to maintain our physical tent.


If you have food and raiment your body is cared for internally and externally. The expression "food and raiment" covers all our temporal needs. Jacob "vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God." (Genesis 28:20-21)


    "Let us be therewith content." We should be content because you can only eat so much food and wear so many cloths. When we recognize that we have a proper sufficiency; we should be content with it. We should learn to be content because it is only between life and death that we can hold our wealth.


Even though we might not have as much as some let us be thankful for the good things that God has done for us! Contentment and thanksgiving go hand in hand.


Godliness is a gain within itself, but when godliness is aligned with contentment it is "great gain." The certainty of death should lead us to “fear God and keep His commandments.” To prepare for eternity you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of your sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), be baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-4), and stay faithful. (Matthew 10:22) Do not die lost!


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA