Apple just announced it's next round of tech gadgets. The "Apple Event" has once again captured the attention and imagination of consumers everywhere. This annual shindig has already caused some to line up at their local Apple retail store just so they can be one of the first to get their hands on the next generation iPhone. It seems that the impatience of shoppers has carriers and vendors changing the way they peddle their wares because let's face it, "Who can wait two whole years for their next iPhone?" The discipline of delayed gratification seems to be fading and consumer debt continues to climb. It is wildly entertaining to watch the news feeds and Twitter explode with each new feature, but how should a follower of Jesus process this kind of information and opportunity?
If you know me, you know that I am just enough of a geek and a nerd to be really dangerous when it comes to electronic gadgetry. I have a tendency to embrace new technology quickly. So please understand, my aim in this post is not to say that you are a bad person if you want a new iPhone or to shame you if you enjoy technology. The point is to remind us that the things of this world cannot satisfy us. Our contentment is found in God.
The Greek word used for contentment in these verses was used by Stoic philosophers. The idea was that one should be unmoved by external circumstances. Yet, Paul exhorts us to be mindful that everything we receive comes from God and is sufficient. Rather than being driven by the constant pursuit of the newest and fastest, we should be content with God's provision and faithfulness. Paul was affirming that godliness leads to gain and there is great profit (spiritual profit) in the type of godliness that possesses a contentment in the realm of material possessions. True godliness is great gain, for it promises benefits for this life and the next. Adding contentment to godliness promotes gratitude for God’s gracious gifts in this life.
When we are content, we are satisfied with having the necessities of life. We must strive not to be driven by the desire for technology and possessions. Our greatest aim must be to please God and hear him say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ when we finally stand before him. So, whether you get a new iPhone or not, strive to be content. See Jesus as more beautiful and beneficial. Pair it with godliness and enjoy the gain.