The holiday season is always an odd time for me. I love to give gifts, but I don't really care to add to the collection of unwanted gifts. In my home, we often talk about trusting God to meet our needs. That doesn't mean we stand on the shore and watch for our ship to come in. We work hard to make sure we've done all we can to provide for our family and others, but still, we trust God.
Sometimes I'll pray and ask for specific things — you know, a particular amount of money, favorable diagnosis of a car problem — and I suspect you do too. Nothing wrong with that, but there's truly more to having your needs met than having stuff go your way. It may be as simple as being content with where you are and what you have.
My wife and I must be on the same wavelength concerning contentment. We have a little chalkboard in our kitchen where we'll write a recipe or date night idea, but recently I walked into the kitchen and saw these words: “What if God has already provided?” That stopped me. And the thought has haunted me for weeks. What if, in my quest for more and better, I've overlooked what I already have? It's caused me to take stock of my time, talents and resources. It's even changed the way I pray, and how I look at pretty much everything.
Discontentment runs rampant in our culture, and today I want to offer you three choices you can make in your life that can lead you to genuine, biblical, lasting contentment.
First, seek contentment as a lifestyle. Choose it. Acknowledge that you would not be happier if you had more. You wouldn’t be — you’d likely be more miserable. God’s Word contains clear warnings for us: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25.)
Second, learn to say, “I have enough.” Let those words reign in your home. Push back from the table and say, “I’ve had enough.” When money comes your way — a surprise bonus from work, an inheritance from your great uncle, even finding $50 in your coat pocket — resist the cravings for more.
Lastly, settle it. Here’s a challenge — choose a lifestyle; don’t let your income dictate your lifestyle. Choose a comfortable level of living that meets your needs, and don't compromise that with more spending when more income arrives. If you don’t choose a lifestyle, this culture will choose one for you, and by default, it will be the lifestyle of living beyond your means. Be counter-cultural. Be radical.
Be others oriented. Let enough be enough. Learn from the examples of those around you (both the contented and the covetous.) You'll save yourself some heartache and know the joy of a truly contented attitude.
More does not equal happier. I promise. And remember this from Philippians 4:19 — “My God will supply every need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”