"But godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6.6
On the national news last night the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, reminded us that, just because it has been crowded out of the headlines, climate change has not disappeared. Indeed it remains the most critical issue of our day. More than that even, our response will define our generation and will set the course for generations to come.
The apostle Paul instructs his young protégé, Timothy, to seek godliness with contentment. We cannot be godly while we are distracted by greed for other things. Likewise, we shall never address the challenges of climate change unless we learn to tread lighter on the earth, to be less materialistic, to curb our appetites for excess. This does not mean condemning ourselves - and everyone else - to a miserable existence. God wants us to thrive in a world of plenty.
Thriving in a world of plenty means taking only our fair share and making sure others get theirs. In other words it's not about the government's favourite mantra levelling up. Rather it is about sharing around. Contentment is the key which unlocks the pleasure of finding joy in the simple aspects of life we take for granted. It releases us from the treadmill of desire. It alerts us to what we have rather than what we lack. Most importantly, it brings us closer to God and to one another.