“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
The most thankful people on earth are those who are content to be like their heavenly Father. To be like God is to be “godly”, and as Paul said, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” People who are content with godliness see all the other blessings in their lives as extra blessings, not necessities. They see those blessings as things that they do not need in order to be content but as things for which to be thankful. To a person content with godliness, every other blessing is “gravy”, as the saying goes.
Jesus said to pursue the kingdom of God and His righteousness above all things, and when we do that, he said, God will add to our lives the blessings we need. A person content with godliness is a person whose contentment does not depend on those other blessings. He is content with fellowship with God; he is not content because of the kind of home he lives in, or popularity, or the amount of money he has in the bank, or anything else that God may have added to his life. That is what makes contentment with godliness “great riches”.
If a person’s contentment is based on earthly circumstances, his contentment is short-lived. Solomon warned his son not to put his trust in uncertain riches because, the wise king said, riches can take wings and fly away. Solomon knew that if his son’s contentment was based on money, it could happen that his son’s money could “fly away”, taking his son’s contentment with it. So, Solomon labored to make certain that his children based their contentment on their relationship with God, who never forsakes those who trust in Him. When the author of Hebrews described Jesus as, “the same yesterday, today, and forever”, he was telling us that if we are content with Jesus, we will be content forever. And when we are content with being like Jesus, every other blessing he gives us is just gravy.