Replacing covetousness with contentment. This chapter really opened my eyes. Keep in mind the formula - Godliness + contentment = great gain.
A consistent attitude of contentment can bring lasting joy and lead you out of the wilderness of covetousness. Contentment is a satisfaction with God's sufficient provision. SATISFIED. You don't need anything else. However, we must never be content with WHO we are, only with WHAT we have. Godliness deals with who I am; contentment deals with what I have.
Absolute: 2+2=4 (no questions). Absolute: law of gravity. Absolute: only one gas we can breath. We don't question these equations. We don't use our feelings to decide if they are right or wrong. We should look at this equation the same way: godliness+contentment=great gain. All of these equations absolutely work because they come from the Creator and Designer of the universe. A road isn't right because you choose it; it's right if it's God's road. There is only one way that leads to eternal life. Jesus. The one Book God gave us gives us this absolute formula: godliness+contentment=great gain.
Steps to true contentment:
1. Look to eternity. I Tim 6:7 - For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. All the material gain on this earth is simply gain on this earth. It will not translate into wealth for eternity. Many ask this question when a person dies: How much did he leave? The answer is: EVERYTHING. Store up treasures in heaven where moth and rust cannot eat them.
2. Let enough be enough. I Tim 6:8 - If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. When we expect to be satisfied with the basics (food and clothing/shelter), God will often surprise us with treats! If we demand 31 flavors, we forfeit contentment, and our heart becomes like a wilderness.
3. Learn by example. John D Rockfeller was asked how much is enough - just one dollar more. He also said, "I have made millions, but they have brought me no happiness." Cornelius Vanderbilt said, "The care of millions is too great a load. There is no pleasure in it." John Jacob Astor, who acquired immense wealth in his lifetime, said, "I am the most miserable man on earth." Henry Ford said at the end of his life, "I was happier as a boy working in a mechanic's shop, though we had nothing." I Tim 6:9 - but those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare. The word want is from a Greek work that means, not a momentary emotional desire, but a settled desire born of reason.
Understand that money is not evil - it is a commodity. It is no more evil than chocolate chip cookies. The problem is the love of money. Loving it, wanting it, living for it. Believing that mney will make you happy.
I love this: We have so many options in life. Contentment is choosing to be satisfied in what I do have and not expending my best energies pressing of more.
Action steps toward contentment:
1. Seek it. Seek contentment as a lifestyle, as a choice. Make it your aim tocome to the place where you really believe that more does not equal happier.
2. Say it. Cultivate the capacity to say, "I have enough."
3. Settle it. I would challenge yhou to choose lifestyle. Don't let your income dictate your lifestyle.
One of the things James Macdonald said in the video and then in the book that really put it in perspective for me: One grain of sand represents life on this earth and all the rest of the grains of sand on all the beaches in all the world represent time in eternity. We're here grinding this one grain of said, our time on earth, to get everything out of it. But too often we ignore all the rest God has in store for us. To be content, focus on eternity. Let enough be enough here on earth.
Contentment brings blessings.
I love to read fiction - stories. I've never been one to read for instruction. But this book is incredible. It is written in a way that is easy to read and understand. It follows the video we are watching on Wednesday very closely so I get a double dose each week!
If you are not content and reaping the blessings of contentment - get this book and read it. I paid $5 on Amazon.com for it (including shipping). Or I'll be happy to lend you one of the copies I have (I bought Brad one to read too) when we are done with them.
Have a great day today.