“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Why is debt such a huge problem in this country? Constantly we find Americans have borrowed more than they earn so that they can live the American dream and/or get their fair share. We want the best education (student loan debt), the high end, expensive, glamorous items we can’t afford (credit card debt), the best house in the best neighborhood (home loan debt), and of course we need to throw in a couple of fancy vehicles (auto loan debt). Why is that? What are we in search of?
In 2014 I had the privilege of hearing a doctor speak about his faith in Jesus Christ. This man lives in Haiti with his wife and he showed us pictures of what Haiti looked like. Let me just say that Haiti is proposed to be the poorest country per capita in the Western Hemisphere – and the pictures he showed us confirmed that. Now this man and his wife lived in a house, that by American standards would be extremely modest. It was a small simple structure – I’m talking small and simple. But instead of pursuing bigger and better, remember this man was a physician – schooled in America – he and his wife decided they needed to downsize. And by downsize I mean put up some tarps in the backyard, call it a tent, and live in the tent – so that they could transform their home into a school for orphans and destitute children. In earthly appearance this couple was living in poverty – No running water, no floor, no tv, no sofa – but in the Spirit they were living in abundance. Somehow they were living from gain, rather than living from loss. How could it be I wondered?
They were content. They were secure in their faith and understanding of who God is and what their purpose is on this earth – and what life leads to after their purpose has been fulfilled. They recognized that they weren’t called to acquire things (material possessions), but to pour out things (biblical truths). That they weren’t called to serve self, but rather to serve and please and glorify God; for the good of other people. And by acting on that knowledge they were finding contentment as God blessed them. God was meeting their physical needs and revealing Himself to them through the power of the Holy Spirit as they sought to exalt Him and his love for all mankind as expressed through the sacrificial giving of the son Jesus Christ.
If you find yourself struggling with the issue of contentment today, reflect upon whom you are attempting to serve and exalt – self or God.
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© 2016 Michael Martin