The Power of Contentment

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Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

 I believe we live in a crazy culture that is always trying to grab our attention and distract us from what really matters.  Maybe it’s not the culture; maybe it the media, or maybe it’s something else – the god of money… the MORE MONSTER… the desire to have, acquire and obtain STUFF!

What drives us to want more?  To want better?  To go BIGGER?  Is it the world around us that is ever tempting us to SPEND MORE HERE or SPEND MORE OVER THERE?  Or, could our desire to have MORE really be a symptom for what is lacking in our heart (spiritual heart)?  Is it an emptiness in our heart that we continue to try and fill with MORE stuff; hoping that THAT NEXT THING will bring us happiness?

I fall into the MORE trap very often myself – just today I was thinking about getting a new pair of sunglasses (Smith Optics is my brand of choice).  Yet, as I was driving down the road to get to an appointment I realized I already have a pair that work great!  But, I can rationalize my PERCEIVED NEED to get another pair!!!  I find myself thinking that: “These old glasses are not ‘in style’ any longer”; or “I need to INVEST in a new pair to protect my eyes as I Mt. Bike;” or “I have some extra money, I deserve to have nice things every once-in-a-while.”  Rationalization, given enough time, I can rationalize an excuse to do just about anything.  And many times it usually involves spending money I really don’t have to buy something I really don’t need.  Do you ever find yourself doing, thinking, saying some of the same things?  How do we stop?

LEARNING CONTENTMENT

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”   – Oprah Winfrey

Contentment is a secret.  Contentment is powerful.  Contentment is a weapon to be used against the MORE MONSTER in our life.  I see the more monster attacking friends everyday; and the devastation it leaves is severe – More Debt, More Arguments, More Stress.  

The New Testament author, Paul, says this in Philippians:

Philippians 4:12 (NIV) 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.

 Did you see that?  Go back and read it again – slowly.

SECRET – contentment is a secret.  It’s a weapon we can use against the MORE MONSTER in our life.  But let me tell you this – using contentment will not be easy; it will require huge amounts of self-control.  And, self-control is a rare commodity here in America.  How do I know?  Look around; addictions and debt are spiraling out of control in our country and the biggest reason is a lack of self-control.

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” – Charles H Spurgeon

In the days ahead, I will be writing about how we can add some contentment/self-control to our life.  I hope you stop back.

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