Thursday, August 16, 2012

Will You Ever Be Content?

Yesterday, I read the fictional story of a president who had a dream. In the dream, God came to him and offered him the wealth of Solomon, the fame of Solomon, or the wisdom of Solomon. But he could only have one of them. After some deliberation, he decided to choose the wisdom of Solomon. The news quickly spread that the president now had the wisdom of Solomon. As his closest advisers gathered together, they were eager to hear what the wisest man in the world would now say. They waited in anticipation as he said, "I should have taken the money."

There you have it. It's all about the money. It seems like it is always about the money. The past couple days I have been asking some questions about our pursuit or view of money. I have been convicted of how we can choose God in the blessings He gives. First, I was curious if you think about money as much as I find myself thinking about money? Second, I wandered if you have the desire to be rich? Today, I am curious if you will ever be content?

The Apostle Paul was an interesting guy. He gave up his life to travel the world to share the good news of Jesus. In the process, he talked about contentment. He talked about learning how to become content with what he had, no matter how little or how much. One portion of Scripture that he talks about contentment is in First Timothy 6, just before he warns about the desire to get rich.
"Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content" (1 Tim. 6:6-8).
Contentment is the feeling of calm satisfaction. It is the fulfillment of a need. It is the happiness of one's situation in life. To say you are not content would be the opposite. It would mean that there is no satisfaction. It would mean there is a desire for something better than your present situation. It is not being satisfied with what you have.

Paul reminds us that we cannot take anything out of this world. We brought nothing in and we will taken nothing out. We came in naked, we will leave the same. His contentment is found if he has the basics of life--food and clothing. Can you believe that? If we have food, if we have a place to give us shelter from the weather, Paul says, we should be content.

Can you imagine that? Is that possible for you? It is not about another video game system or another vehicle. It is about trusting God with the basics of your living. And then whatever exceeds these basics, should be received with great enjoyment, but should never be conceived of as necessity in life. If we think it is a necessity, it will rob our contentment.

I think we struggle with contentment because we have so much. If all we ever knew were the basics of life, I think we would be content with them. So what does this mean? How does contentment help me choose God during the blessings of life? I think it starts with distinguishing between wants and needs. I am not saying that we never purchase wants. We should. That is okay. Certainly God does permit us to have luxuries in life. But at least we should be aware that it is a want, and not give into our cultural seduction that this item is something we have to have to bring us happiness. We should never think that the luxury is something we deserve.

Tomorrow, I plan on finishing this series by dealing with the question of giving.

Question: What Is Something You Want But Is Not Essential For Life?

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