If you have ever cared for children, you realize how short their attention span and how elusive their contentment. If you have ever supervised or worked with adults, you realize how very few children grow up. Why are people discontented? That’s a million dollar question that can be answered with a nickel answer. Selfish pursuit of an evaporating cloud!
Discontented people think that something or someone is the answer to their problem. No! That’s why we see millionaires who are married to beautiful spouses, with successful careers, two houses, expensive cars, and world-wide fame commit suicide or numb-out in addictions. Professional athletes, movie stars, politicians, business moguls, etc. who seem to have it all yet many lack contentment.
So, let’s not just pick on the rich and famous. There are also middle-class and poor discontents who are chasing after the cloud. The point being, stuff and other people are not the sources of contentment.
Please listen to one who has struggled with discontentment. Something else or another person will not complete you. I have reached a conclusion in life, “If someone is not happy (content) within themselves, you cannot make them happy (content).” Trying to make someone happy that is not happy is like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon.
The Apostle Paul wrote this to his spiritual son Timothy, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain./ For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out./ And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8 NKJV).
We Carry Nothing Out. As a minister, I have done hundreds of funerals. I have buried rich people and paupers, and they all fit in the same size grave with a few rags in a box. All of our stuff will one day be someone else’s property and they will dispose of it as they like.
You Can Send Some Things Ahead. Jesus said, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20 NKJV). Evidently, the good things we do here on earth are like treasures sent ahead into eternity. We need to devalue our earthly treasures and value the eternal treasures.
Be Content with What You Have. If you can’t be happy when you have little, you will not be happy with much. If you are content with a little, you will be a blessing with more. God may indeed bless you with more, and when He does, you will be grateful not arrogant, giving not selfish, and eternally minded not earthly minded. Savor the morsel in your hand and drink deep of the water in your cup. Contentment is a choice not a condition.
Earth Will Soon Forgot Us. There are very few people who are remembered beyond two generations. Many people cannot name even one of their great-grandparents. Recently, I had someone tell me that I was leaving a good legacy. I appreciated their thoughtfulness and simply thanked them for their kind remarks. Inwardly, I just smiled up at Jesus because honestly, I am over the legacy thing. I am not concerned about my earthly legacy.
Just a few generations and our names will most likely be an unknown carving on a piece of marble. There is only One whose ultimate approval we should strive for and it is the approval of Jesus. It is better to be known in Heaven and forgotten among men than the other way around.
Be Content in Jesus. I am a follower of Jesus. He has forgiven me of my sins. He has given me His eternal life. My purpose in life is in Him and I am fulfilled in Him. I live in Him and He lives in me. I trust Him with my well-being, my needs, and my very life. When this life on earth is ended, He has promised me eternal life with no pain, problems, or tears. I am a billionaire even if I have nothing in my hand. I take a deep breath of contentment and exhale the joy of the Lord.
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt