Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me? – Hebrews 13:5-6
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Thinking About Things
Be content with you have. If I were going to get a tattoo, I would have that statement tattooed on my right hand, but I’m content with my right hand the way it is. Sufficient in itself, to be content with what we have has a corollary, I suppose, of being content with what we don’t have, and we ought to be content with what other people have.
Probably one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that, while we aren’t content with what we have now, if only we get X, we will be. It doesn’t work that way. Contentment is never a function of our possessions. Contentment grows out of trust and confidence. When we know who we are and what we are, when we are certain that we are loved, when we are convinced of the power and presence of God, we are content. It doesn’t mean that we don’t work and strive to improve ourselves in the sense of becoming better people or in helping and supporting others. It means that we are no longer anxious and overly concerned about how things will work out.
We can get so caught up in the bad news and the dire situations and the catastrophic events we witness that we forget that we abide in Christ and He in us. So I got one side of my head saying, You’re a Christian; you believe God is all-powerful; stop fretting. The other side is going on about the national debt and hyper-inflation and bankruptcy and Ebola and beheadings, global warming and the dangers of antiperspirants versus being shunned for body odor. We are worried about what the neighbors might think. Shoot, sometimes I worry about being worried.
If I was happier when I had less stuff it was probably because I spent less time and trouble and money taking care of it. Right now, among other things, I need to build a new shed to put some of my equipment in and have more room to work on my equipment. Or, I could try to get rid of some of it, but then when the twice-per-decade need arose for it, I’d probably go out and buy another one. It’s always a trade-off. When you ain’t got nothin’, you ain’t got nothin’ to lose. Conversely, you ain’t got nothin’.
I have looked at an empty refrigerator, bare shelves, and a zero bank balance. It was a learning experience. God got me through it. I’m still here with all I need and then some. If, from the world’s perspective, I’m ever down to nothing again, I’ll still have the Lord.
The past has brought us to now. The future is always being created now. It kind of makes me think now is pretty important. Anxiety and discontentment ruin new for us. The only way to have joy in the Lord is to have it now.