1998-12-08 - Contentment
Hebrews 13:5 Be content with such things as you have.
I began this series on contentment because I am convinced that we live in a world where people are more dis-content than content. As convinced as I am of that, I am even more convinced that the Christian, of all people, can and even should be content with the blessings and provisions of God in this life.
We have done three weeks on what contentment is not, and three weeks on how to promote contentment. I intend several more weeks on promoting contentment and then several weeks on why contentment is really an important aspect of Christian living. Hang in there …
6. We do not get happiness and safety in this life from possessions
Luke 12:15 Take heed and beware against every form of covetousness; for mans life does not consist in an abundance of the things he possess." Here is a tough lesson from Christ. It is for those who know that while they can't take anything with them when they die, they yet feel that here on earth they should seek greater things for themselves.
Outward things are useful in this life, but no one is able to prolong life, or make it more happy or comfortable, by possessing more than is needed. We need to ask ourselves what good a super-abundance of things or wealth will do for us? Things and possessions are external to our life and happiness. Even if you have the world at your will, you can gain no more from it than food and clothing. Even the poor attain that.
Steven Girard was a very wealthy man and when everyone supposed he was basking in his attainments and possessions he wrote a friend, "As to myself, I live like a galley-slave, constantly occupied, and often passing the night without sleeping. I am wrapped in a labyrinth of affairs, and worn out with care. I do not value fortune. The love of labor is my highest emotion. When I rise in the morning, my only effort is to labor so hard during the day, that, when night comes, I may be enabled to sleep soundly."
One way contentment is realized is when we understand that if it were better that we be wealthier, more powerful, more eminent, or in various other circumstances that might seem appealing to us, God would make it so. We would act like foolish children crying because we can't have poison if we were to wish for good things that God has denied us.
It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide spoil with the proud. He who gives attention to the word shall find good, and blessed is he who trust in the Lord. Proverbs 16:19,20
Soli Deo Gloria,