THURSDAY, MAY 10
“In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
Philippians 4:12 ESV
SECRETS OF CONTENTMENT: YOUR POSSESSIONS
The comedy film “Cool Runnings” is about the first Jamaican bobsled team to go to the Winter Olympics. John Candy plays a former American gold medalist who becomes a coach for the Jamaican team. Late in the story the coach’s dark history comes out. In an Olympics following his gold medal performance, he broke the rules by weighting the U.S. sled, bringing disgrace on himself and his team. One of the Jamaican bobsledders could not understand why anyone who had already won a gold medal would cheat to get another one. Finally he nervously asked the coach to explain. Here’s what he said: “I thought I had to win. But I learned something. If you are not happy without a gold medal, you won’t be happy with it, either.”
People with plenty of material things realize quickly that it’s hard to get enough things to make you content. John D. Rockefeller was once asked, “How much money does it take to satisfy a man?” With rare wisdom he replied, “A little bit more than he has.” And people who are genuinely struggling to make ends meet are tempted to believe that more money could buy their happiness.
Paul knew what it was like to be hungry and he knew what it was like to have a full walk-in pantry. And life had taught him that you could be content or discontent with either. Contentment comes when we understand that material things are given as tools and not as an end in themselves. The contented person is generous and willing to share because they have come to realize that honoring God is where satisfaction comes from. They use what they have to honor the Lord and in return they find contentment. Bless someone else materially this week with the blessings God has given you.
“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. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10