Luke 12:27-28 “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?”
Our pursuits of happiness this side of eternity can be easily distracted, causing out-of-balance along wrong paths, missing the contentment that our hearts desire and maybe severe derailed as we look in all the wrong places. Pastor Tim Challies writes how the lily is here today and gone tomorrow, so fleeting and commonplace that we can overlook its intricate beauty and fail to acknowledge the glory of the Creator God who made and sustains it. Is it possible that we have grown so accustomed to our affluence that we have lost the wonder of it too? Is it possible that our prosperity distracts us, blinds us with blinders, and harms us even as it blesses us? Are we looking for contentment in all the wrong places and missing what the Lord has provided for us, all around us? We can easily take the provisions beyond their intended purpose. And it is not mere money either that we enjoy in such abundance, but wealth also includes comforts, life-style, influence and more ... what I want / when I want - greed.
1 Timothy 6:6-9,11 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
Pastor Challies states that affluence-based greed is a spiritual disease that is ravaging the modern world. It is similar to every other disease in that we can accurately diagnose it by its telltale symptoms. First, the most common symptom is discontentment. Just think about Adam and Eve. They had the whole world before them, that is, but for one little tree. And somehow they determined that they could not possibly be content unless they had the fruit from that tree. Like Adam and Eve, we can have great abundance and still feel empty because we do not have more or have it all. Multi-billionaire John D. Rockefeller was once asked: “How much money is enough?” He replies: “Just a bit more.” I had a friend that was discontented with his life, then he’d get something new and be satisfied, but shortly he’s become discontented again. A co-worker of mine was always looking for the latest thrill or trend. He told me that in his life: I see it, I want it, I get it. There will away be a bit more to get, another dollar, another gadget, another upgrade, another outing – joy is always as close as tomorrow, but that far away too. It is a life of chasing after the wind.
Ecclesiastes 2:26 “To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
Let's continue this important message on Contentment on the next post.
In Christ, Brian