Friday, May 18, 2007

Contentment

It is easy to get caught up in accumulating wealth and possessions in this life. Many around us are prosperous and have lots of things we would like to have. So we are tempted to pursue those things. While there is nothing wrong with possessing some of this world's goods, if those things are our aim, we will be as unfruitful as the thorny ground in the parable of the sower. The "worries and riches and pleasures of this life" (Lk. 8:13) will choke out the word and leave us in a sad condition before the Lord.

So what is the solution? Instead of the endless pursuit of physical things, we must learn to be content with what we have. Paul said, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am" (Phil. 4:11). The next verse states that this meant at times getting along with humble means and at other times living in prosperity. There is nothing wrong with being prosperous. But whether we have abundance or suffer need (Phil. 4:12), we must be content.

Paul told Timothy, "if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content" (1 Tim. 6:8). Paul goes on to warn, "But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Tim. 6:9-10).

Notice Paul does not say that those who are rich fall into temptation, but those who want to get rich. One may be poor and still have the love of money that will destroy his soul. Let us not be led away from our devotion to Christ by the things of this world. Rather, let us be content and serve God regardless of our circumstances.

2 comments:

Eva said...

Good post, Andy. Contentment is hard to come by in the materialism that surrounds us in the world--and even too often in the church.

You made a good point, though, by pointing out the side of the equation that so often is overlooked -- those who have little are sometimes as caught up in worry and wanting to have more that they lose sight of their spiritual focus. That is just as harmful (sinful) and sometimes even more debilitating than the traditional example of those do who get caught up in their money and things and worrying how to keep, protect, and grow their things/money.

Ssenyondo Alex said...

Praise God.
Truly, just like Paul, you can learn to be content. It is positive people who can understand this.
We need to know that chasing after material is like a chasing after the wind. Not that material is bad, but the love/lust of it is root of all evil. Luke 12:15 says "a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions". Let us be content knowing that'where your treasure is, there your heart is'. God bless you. Alex; alnnets@yahoo.com

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