Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." So we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” ~ Hebrews 13:4-7 NLT
The devil is out to get us, always tempting us to give in and sin. He is very good at tempting us to be unsatisfied with what we own. Think about it. No matter where we are, advertising surrounds us: “Life is just not worth living unless you have this product, you will be cool if you buy this, look at your old, daggy stuff- how could you keep that old thing, when you could buy this?” Ads don’t really encourage us to be content with what we own, and to remain satisfied with our own stuff. Dictionary.com describes ‘content’ as: satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else. Are you ok with the stuff you have, or do you wish you had more? Is there anything that you really really want, that has become a ‘need’ in your life? As I was writing this, I found myself on a website that sells books, and I started surfing it, wishing I had a little bit more money so that I could buy all that I want. Just a little bit more, and I would be content. I mean, I would be so happy- no one would be more satisfied than me, if I only had more money.
‘Come on, Meggie’, I thought, ‘Look at you, writing an article about being content, and yet still learning to be content yourself!’ The scary thing is, I didn’t realise I was thinking it. The devil has planted it into our society, the thoughts come so naturally, the desire to have more comes up and we don’t even notice it.
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. ~ 1 Timothy 6: 6-10 NLT
Why would we bother with being content? Ads are yelling at us: ‘Stuff being content, you can have all you want, all you dream of having - if you just sign on the dotted line’. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, it is too good to be true. The more you get, the more you want, the more unsatisfied you become. People who long to have everything are plunged into ruin and destruction, and pierce themselves with many sorrows. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to sit in a corner and never buy anything or never enjoy anything; it’s about having the right outlook, and keeping your eyes completely on Jesus. We brought nothing into this world, and we can bring nothing out. Think about everything you wish you had; IPad? Music? Movies? Books? When you are in heaven, kneeling before the Lord, by the sound of angels worshipping Him, is it going to matter if you have the most recent technology? We cannot take anything to heaven - it is not going to last. Everything in this world is going to pass away. It’s gonna turn to dust; yet how much time do we take up buying things and wishing for things that we just don’t need? Catch yourself before you start listing off the things you wish you had next time, and remember, all of that is nothing compared with the riches of Heaven, and the riches of God.
“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers
At the end of the day, God will be with us throughout this life, and the life to come. He is the only thing that is unchanging and will always be. In Him, we have everything we need. He has promised to provide for what we actually need, and He blesses us with so much more. He is our protector and provider.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:10-13 NIV
Paul learnt that in Christ, he can be content no matter what situation he is in. Whether he was poor and hungry, or whether he was rich with a full stomach. I think it is time we changed our thinking and our outlook. We can be content in Christ if we see Christ as our everything. God is the thing of most value in our lives, not what we own. Make Him the top priority in your life - you are dead and buried, and now Jesus Christ lives His life through you. Tell Him, ‘You God are the only thing that will never leave me, and I decide to be content, because I know that I cannot take anything out of this world. I cannot bring my laptop to Heaven, and so I will regard it as nothing compared to You’. God will help you. At the end of those verses, Paul said that God was His strength. If you have no muscle, are you capable of lifting anything? Anything at all? Nope! Paul had no strength, but God gave him the muscle to be able to be content. Ask God to help you, ask God to give you the muscle, and He will. We need to have the proper attitude towards the stuff of this world. It will just become dust in the light of eternity, and that’s what we need to remember. It doesn’t matter if we have all the stuff we have ever wanted, it doesn’t matter if we are starved or if we’re full, it matters that God’s name is lifted high and that His name is preached. Don’t throw your life away wishing you had more. Be thankful for what you have today; and remember- God is the greatest treasure you could ever wish to have, and you already have Him!
He has the most who is most content with the least. ~ Diogenes