"But godliness with contentment is great gain."
Our text teaches us it is possible to live a godly life and at the same time be void of a contented life. Peter writes in his second epistle that godliness can have additives. And so Paul tells us that when a Believer adds contentment to his or her godly life, it is a great gain. Contentment has to do with our present circumstances, that is, whatever surrounds us at any given time. It does not primarily have to do with the past or future. The question to continually ask ourselves is, "Am I content right now, at this very moment?"
Contentment doesn't cancel out improvement, which is an ongoing process; but we do need to be content with who we are, where we are, and what we're doing, at any given instance. If we are surrendered to God's will, we need to realize it is He that's been making us who we are, up to this present hour. And it is He who has led us to where we are, at this period of time. Also, what we are doing now in our life, He prepared the work and qualified us for it. I have found over these many years in my own life, when discontented, I can trace the cause back to not being content with God.
"My crown is called contentment; A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy". ~William Shakespeare