Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Contentment - March 9, 2010

Ecclesiastes 4:7-8 (New International Version)
7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
8 There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
"For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?"
This too is meaningless—a miserable business!

1 Timothy 6:6-9 (New International Version)
6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People 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.

What are we spending our lives doing? ...From our earliest days we have been focused on the pursuit of money and success in our lives. I am sure that we all can still hear the drone of teachers and counselors saying that we needed to stay in school to get a good education, without which we would not be able to get a good job and make alot of money.

Then as we got older and ventured out into the working world, we found that our very success in life was measured by the amount of money we were making. Anything good in life took money and for us to have anything, we would have to depend on ourselves and work hard for it. Every day we headed into work to provide a living for ourselves and chased that elusive dream of someday having it all.

If we got married and had a few children, the focus didn't change, only now we had multiple mouths to feed, college educations to fund, and weddings to plan for. These were just speedbumps in a life that was headed in a direction seeking ultimate contentment. Someday we were going to make it! Someday we would have it all!

For some of us, we may just be starting out our lives, wanting to break free from the restraints of home, and reaching for all that we can get out of life. Our teachers and parents may be telling us, "Stay in school and get a good education, because you want to get a good job and make alot of money!" I am not saying that this is wrong, but we may be falling into that very same trap that has burdened people for generations.

I say the world has this whole thing all wrong. I say that what we pursue in life has been corrupted by a world seeking after the wrong things. Whether it is the lament of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes or the admonitions from Paul in his letters to Timothy, God's word tries to point us in the right direction. If we will take the time to study it's advice about what is important in life, we will live much better in this life. The Bible seeks to make us aware of this fact:

We are created by God to seek His will in our lives and to express our love for Him in all we do. His desire is that we are to be content, because he promises to give us everything we really need. He wants for us to always strive to be our best. If we will just surrender our worldly will to Him, and seek after His will for our lives and how we might serve Him, He will give us the contentment we are striving for. We really can have it all!

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