Lord, You are the God of tradition and innovation, the new and the old. Do a new thing in me today.
Read 1 Timothy 6:6-21
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The secret of contentment is not to add to a person’s possessions but to take away their desires” (Epicurus, Greek Philosopher, 341-270 BC). Or, perhaps to change our desires (Psa. 37:4).
Why is it that having so much we’re still dissatisfied? Contentment remains elusively out of reach. Yet the answer is not found in having more, but in appreciating what we have already. For all we have is more than we came with, and we leave everything behind when we die. Yet we feed the desire for the latest, newest and best. We forget our childhood experiences, delighted with new gifts one day, yet bored by the end of the week. Far from finding satisfaction, we become addicted to consumerism, run up debts we cannot pay, and bring our carefully structured lives crashing down around us.
There is another way, one that echoes Jesus’ teaching in Luke 12. It is to concentrate on the things that last: Christian character, faith and witness. The energy that is expended in accumulating should be channeled into service for Christ, with all the demands that makes. The single-minded example of Jesus, serving others while focused on the cross, should challenge and inspire us to live differently. Beautiful lives for God are far more attractive than simply “stuff,” whatever the label or price tag. What a pity if all we can present before Christ at the end is an expensive house or an impressive bank account.
Paul reminds Timothy that wealth can make people arrogant and replace reliance on God with dependence on money. This effectively closes the door on God. Yet it is God who lavishes good gifts on us and who encourages us to pass them on to others. Do that and you are investing with a guaranteed return. There is no need for the small print that reminds us that the value of investments can go down as well as up.
It is so instinctive to see what we don’t have rather than what we have. Count your blessings and pray for the ability to be thankful for daily blessings.
Lord, there seems to be a conspiracy to drain contentment and thankfulness from my life. Grant me a positive, grateful attitude.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.