Mar 15

Session 4 Recap: Anyabwile, “Contentment with Our Possessions”

2014 | by Ryan Ellsworth | Category: Clarus 14

Editor’s Note: Ryan Ellsworth is the Teaching Pastor at City of Faith Christian Fellowship in Santa Fe, NM. He is a member of the Albuquerque Chapter of The Gospel Coalition. This post is a summary of Thabiti Anyabwile’s message from Saturday morning at Clarus, March 15, “Contentment with Our Possessions,” from 1 Timothy 6:3-10.


In this session Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile used various Scriptures to show us that the gospel turns us from the creation to the creator.  The sermon dealt with four questions:

1) What Is the Connection Between Contentment and Personal Possessions?

“Either our possession will keep us from contentment or our contentment will change our view and use of personal possessions”.  In Matthew 19, we saw in the account of the rich young ruler that the suggestion of losing his possessions proved that he was inwardly discontent, which gets to the heart of the issue – discontentment is heart idolatry.  This man was rich and had everything, and yet he wanted more. His possessions were keeping him from contentment in God.

2) How Does the Gospel Produce Christian Contentment? 

The gospel frees us from being possessed by the world so that we may now possess the world and use it in the worship of our Lord.  Praise God that in the glorious gospel of His Son every chain is broken.  The gospel does this first by destroying old idols and turning us to God.  Having turned us to God as our source and joy, we are now able to enjoy His creation properly.  And this proper enjoyment of God’s creation will actually contribute to our assurance and contentment in God himself.

3) What Does Contentment Look Like?

Acts 2 and 4 show us that true contentment actually manifests into radical generosity.  Our hearts learn that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and for those in our churches to have their needs relieved.  This is because “in God’s economy, the more you give, the better off you are.  Our motive is not to possess things, but to possess God.”  A good warning was given against the prosperity teaching that corrupts the gospel.

4) How Can We Use Our Possessions To Cultivate Contentment? 

Simply stated, we clean our hearts of idols, we clean our houses of injustice, and we clean our churches of needs.  Contentment comes from the inside-out as God works in our heart.  As Jeremiah Burroughs said, “The art of contentment is not to seek to add to our circumstances, but to subtract from our desires.”