“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12
Once in awhile, I would clean our closets and find a lot of stuff that we don’t need . I usually give them away or throw them all out. It’s ironic how I find more thrill getting rid of those things than keeping them.
We keep thinking that our journey for “more” will lead us to destination called “contentment.” You may say, “I got to have more clothes, matching shoes, more jewelries in my collection, another vacation house, a nice retirement portpolio then I will leave happily ever after.” But what happens next? When we get what we want, we crave for more. We still feel empty.
Did you notice that the more we want, the more “wanting” we get?
King Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived accumulated everything he wanted in this life, including 1,000 wives. Yet, at the end, he realized they were all nothing, meaningless! He showed us that people will not find happiness in knowledge, money, pleasure, work or fame. Read Ecclesiastes if you want to know his whole story.
There is a longing in all of us that will not go away. We try to substitute or fill our emptiness with possessions, and we do this by working non-stop. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, if we don’t forget God in the process. But we want a table of sumptuous buffet, yet we forget the Master Cook.
It made me smile when I heard the story of Snoopy. He was in his doghouse one Thanksgiving Day, complaining about being stuck with dog food while all the humans got to be in their homes eating turkey. Until he realized at the end, “Of course, it could have been worse,” he reflected. “I could have been that turkey!” To be content also depend on the way we think. Are we counting our blessings?
A Latin proverb says that the best of blessings is a contented mind. And may I add that we must also acknowledge and give praises to the Source of all our blessings.
What matters at the end of our life is not how much toys we have acquired, or how many titles next to our name. It is the soul that we become.
Gloria, I look at this wisdom-filled article and at the others' comments and I fully agree. Unlike Paul, I'm not fully aware of what it is like to live in "plenty" except that I consider a roof over my head and clothes on my back and food in my stomach to be "plenty." I am pretty aware, however, of what it is like to live in lack. And it goes far beyond material possessions. YET, it just dawned on me a couple of days ago that I personally smile more than just about anyone I know. Why is that? Well, Paul knew why. It's peace. It's true contentment. And it comes from the knowing that, no matter what situation we find ourselves in, God cannot lie... He IS our Provider and DOES bless us according to His riches and glory. All the money and possessions in all the earth could never compare to that of knowing Almighty God and the richness of His storehouse of spiritual blessings. The only "more" I'm concerned with having is more and more and more of Him. God give us the grace to be responsible with, and grateful for, our other possessions!!!! Great article!... I will get caught up with my reading... someday. :)
You are SO right! Collecting things, coveting more, having pleanty of money -- whatever: these things do not give you happiness or contentment. The older one gets, the more one realizes--or should--that contentment and peace comes from within. God is our wealth. If only people would realize this. People in other countries are suffering without the necessities of life...I saw just the other evening, on TV a clip on this; yet I saw the children playing, laughing, content because they were with their families, and one little boy did not even have clothes. ... Thanks for your talk on "When More Is Not Enough." Thanks for your comments on my "Oh Volunteer." ...God bless you. Keep on writing.... Helen
This is a wonderful, so true article! I see a trend in the "American" Christian world, to go after material things, supposing it is a blessing and suggesting if you don't have a lot of "stuff" you're not godly. Thank you for setting us straight!
Dear Sis Gloria, I think you summed it all up when you said it is not the amount of things that we have collected but the soul that we become that matters. You are so very right. God certainly does not look at our possessions, but He does look at us. Thank you so much for this reminder of what God is looking for in us. I love you, Sharon
Gloria...You have made SO MANY wonderful points here! What you wrote here is sheer wisdom: "Did you notice that the more we want, the more “wanting” we get?" You are so right! We can easily become consumed with wanting 'more', always looking to the next possession! The very inspiring message you gave us is to look to God and acknowledge and praise Him as the Source of our blessings! AMEN to that...may we all remember that as we enjoy all He has provided! With love, SiS Peggy