In 1 Timothy 6:6-10 Paul writes:
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
We can have everything we could ever use and still be discontent, because discontentment is not based upon what we possess but rather that we are prevented from possessing some other thing – even if we can’t use or don’t need it. Discontentment begins where the great Idol Self cannot compel another to be or do or give in subservience to Self. Discontentment, in its very heart of hearts, is a desire to displace God and set up the Self in God’s place. It is the desire to be a creature without a Creator.
As Robert Candlish notes, this is an evil with very deep roots:
I. Thus, first, he insinuates doubts regarding the equity and goodness of God:—“Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (ver. 1). Can it be? Has he really subjected you to so unreasonable a restraint? And the insinuation takes effect. Suspicion begins to rankle in the woman’s breast. In her very manner of citing the terms of the covenant, she shows that she is dwelling more on the single restriction, than on all the munificence of the general grant. In the Lord’s first announcement of it, the main stress is laid upon the grant. It is expressed with a studied prodigality of emphasis; “of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.” And the single limitation is but slightly, though solemnly, noted; “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it.” The woman, however, drinking in the miserable poison of suspicion which the serpent has instilled, reverses this mode of speaking. How disparagingly does she notice the fulness and freeness of the gift;—“we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden!” That is all the acknowledgment she makes; and there is no cordiality in it. It is not “every tree,” nor, “we may freely eat;” but, “we may eat of the fruit of the trees;”—as if the permission were grudgingly given;—and as if it were altogether a matter of course, and even less almost than her right. On the other hand, she dwells upon the prohibition, amplifying it and magnifying it as an intolerable hardship;—“but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it” (2:16, 17; 3:2, 3).
Is not this the very spirit of Jonah, to whom it was nothing that Nineveh was given him as the reward of his faithful preaching, if the gourd that refreshed him was removed? Is it not the temper of Haman, who, amid all the riches and splendour of court favour, cried out in bitterness of soul;—“All this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate?”
Robert S. Candlish, The Book of Genesis, Vol. 1 (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1868), 62-63.