Tuesday, October 8, 2013

True contentment comes only from God.

            A wealthy businessman was vacationing at the beach. As he walked along the beach, he noticed a fisherman sitting lazily next to his boat. The rich man asked, “Why aren’t you out there fishing?” “I’ve caught enough for today,” the fisherman replied. “You could catch more than you need, you know,” the rich man urged. “But what would I do with them?” “Well, you could earn more money! You could buy a bigger boat, get better nets, catch more fish, and make more money. Someday, if you work hard enough and long enough, you will become rich. The fisherman asked, “Then what would I do?” “You can sit back, take it easy, and enjoy life.” he said. “That’s what I’m doing now,” said the fisherman.
Our society is focused on money and the things that money can by. ‘Give me more!’ is its cry. We hear it from our children when they visit a store. “Mom, I want one of those.” “Can we buy that?” We see it when a young couple, starting out in life, decides to buy everything on credit rather than wait until they can afford it. We are happy with our car. It gets us to work. It runs fine. It’s paid for. Then we go for a ride in a friend’s car. It has a built in navigation center, satellite TVs, heated leather seats. It helps you park, tells you when you are too close to the car next to you, and gets great mileage. Suddenly, you’re not so happy with your old beater at home.
What we are talking about, “to lack a better word. is greed, good old fashioned greed.” Greed, one of the deadly sins, is a danger for us all. None of us are exempt. It leads us to be unhappy, dissatisfied with what we have. We want more.
The opposite of greed is contentment. Contentment means being satisfied with what we have. It has nothing to do with hard work or trying to get a better job, or planning for the future. It’s about being content, happy if you will, with where we are, with what we have.
The contentment comes, in a god-pleasing way, through Christ. When we know Jesus as our Savior, when we know that our sins have been washed away by his blood, we have nothing to worry about. When we know that the Lord is with us, watching over us, giving us all that we need, we can be content. We may not be rich or famous. We may not have the fastest computer, nicest car, or biggest home. Yet, if we are content with what the Lord has given us, we will be happy.
When Jesus lives in our heart, our heart will not be so focused on what we have here and now but what we will have for all eternity. We will know that the riches and blessings of this life are nothing compared to what is waiting for us in heaven. How can we not be content with that? Such contentment can only come from one place – from God.