Never before in the history of the world have we lived in a time like now. We live in an era of astonishing abundance. Think about it for a moment. Artificial light, indoor plumbing, clean running water right from the faucet, refrigeration, A/C, efficient indoor heating, supermarkets, cars, buses, planes, the ability to go anywhere in the world in less than a day, the variety of food we have access to year round right in our hometowns, endless information right in the palm of our hands, powerful communication devices in our pockets that can do so many tasks for us, endless entertainment, the list goes on and on. I’m just barely scratching the surface here.
The fact is, is that even though we have so much and more than any other person in the history of the world, we still want more. We have an innate quality in us that is never satisfied. In some ways that is good, as in staying motivated and driven to be the best we can be and do the most good. But when it comes to always wanting more things, stuff, then it certainly is a ball and chain shackled to our ankles.
In order to prosper financially and spiritually, we must first recognize our blessings and all that we have and find contentment. Without contentment we are chasing a moving target that we will never reach and we will be miserable for it throughout our lives. The first key to contentment is to see what we do have and be thankful for it. All that we have is a gift from God. When we start to think that it is from our own accord than we tend to ignore God and fail to recognize Him as provider.
Being content is not natural. It goes against the grain of us always wanting more. We must learn it. We cannot find contentment when we have enough to meet our desires rather we find it in times of loss. When we lose something we treasure we soon realize how much it meant to us and how much/what we have left is even more important. We can become content and thankful for what we have rather than focusing on acquiring more, which takes our mind off of what we have. It produces greed rather than fear. A good amount of fear is healthy and keeps us from harm.
What happens when we are not content? For starters, we spend our entire lives accumulating and storing up but in the end, we simply cannot take it with us. Every last penny, collectable, tchotchke, household item, junk pieces will be left behind. And left to most likely the ones we care about to clean up/sort through/get rid of the mess and perhaps fight over.
Sometimes when you have your focus on getting more (money, stuff, etc.) then you miss out on the what’s really important. You also open yourself up to putting your accumulating desires over the ones you love. You also will be more prone to ignoring God all together and attributing your success to you and you alone.
Where Do We Go From Here?
In the end, the path that leads to always wanting more and never being satisfied will always leave you with disappointment. Contentment is found when you have less not more. When we learn to realize what God has given us and be thankful more than we lament what He has taken away we become content.
When we are content and end up with more, it will bring us all the more joy and we will be able to recognize it may be too much for us but we can then find joy through giving of our abundance. It is when we give with a cheerful heart that will bring us the greatest joy.
“Godliness with contentment is great gain” 1 Tim 6:6
Amassing great wealth leaves much to be desired.