THE LAW OF CONTENTMENT
Financial Fitness – Part 2
Contentment: a state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be. Freedom from anxiety or worry (1 Tim 6:6). The idea of contentment comes from Greek word that means “independence” or “self-sufficiency.” But the apostle Paul used the word in a Christian sense to show that real satisfaction or sufficiency comes from God: “I can do all things through Christ..”
As long as your yearning exceed your earnings = you will always be in bondage. Statistics Canada reported Dec 13, 2013 that the level of household credit market debt to disposable income increased to 163.7 per cent in the third quarter from 163.1 per cent in the second quarter. That means Canadians owe nearly $1.64 for every $1 in disposable income they earn in a year.
Add to this is the housing affordability issue, rising gas price, pipeline crisis - BC vs Alberta & Feds. Looming possibility that the gas prices will rise to 2.50 per litter this summer.
Proverbs 14:30 (CEV) It’s healthy to be content, but envy can eat you up.
Proverbs 14:30 (NLT) A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
Envy, jealousy, - desire to possess another person’s gifts, possession, or achievements. Its not only what you eat that makes you unhealthy but also what’s eat you.
Ecclesiastes 6:9 (CEV) It’s better to enjoy what we have than to always want something else, because that makes no more sense than chasing the wind.
Ecclesiastes 6:9 (NIV84) Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
THE EFFECT OF ALWAYS WANTING MORE
1. MORE FATIGUE.
“Do not wear yourself out to be rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.” Prov. 23:4
The race to get more -drives us to overwork. Very visible in BC
Lee Tolstoy, Russian writer: Peasant offered all land-walk-1 day with a promised that everything he walked on is his. He walked so fast dropped dead from exhaustion!
Isn’t this the picture of people today? Dropping to exhaustion, tired of trying to gain everything in our short life. A rat race- Got to keep up! You might win the rat race but in the end you are still a rat
2. MORE EXPENSES.
“The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth—except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers!” Eccl. 5:11 (NLT)
It is expensive to have more money because you need an accountant, house worker, mow the lawn, cook the food. There is no shortage of people who can help you spend it. Many dream of becoming rich (or will a lotto).. But are you ready to handle that large sum of money? Always costs more to have more! If grass is greener- the water bill higher!
We think we don’t make enough. Truth: we want too much! A lot of need is just greed. God said, “he will supply our needs not our greed”
3. MORE ANXIETY.
“A working man…can get a good night’s sleep. But the rich man has so much that he stays awake worrying.” Eccl. 5:12 (GN)
The more you have ... more- worry about (I don’t worry about yacht, sports car because i don’t have any). Anxiety – A state of mind may range from genuine concern to obsession that originate from a distorted perspective of life. How to. save it...invest.. maintain.. insure.. avoid tax. Study: Insomnia increases with income!
4. MORE CONFLICT.
More fatigue +more expenses + more anxiety = more conflict!
“A greedy man brings trouble to his family.” Prov. 15:27
“People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.” 1 Tim. 6:9 (NLT)
5. MORE DISSATISFACTION.
“If you love money, you will never be satisfied; if you long to be rich, you will never get all you want. It is useless.” Eccl. 5:10 (GN)
“It’s foolish to think wealth brings happiness!” (LB)
“I have learned the secret of being content … whether living in plenty or in want.” Phil. 4:12
HOW TO LEARN CONTENTMENT
1. REFUSE TO COMPARE MYSELF WITH OTHERS.
“We do not dare classify or compare ourselves…it is not wise.” 2 Cor. 10:12
“You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17
2. ENJOY WHAT I HAVE.
“If God gives a man wealth and property…he should be grateful and enjoy what he has…it is a gift from God.” Eccl. 5:19 (GN)
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Tim. 6:17
3. REMEMBER THAT LIFE IS NOT ABOUT THINGS.
“Jesus said, ‘Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.’” Luke 12:15 (GN)
“O God, I ask for two things from you before I die: First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name.” Prov. 30:7-9
4. FOCUS ON WHAT WILL LAST FOREVER.
“We fix our attention, not on the things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time; but what cannot be seen lasts forever.” 2 Cor. 4:18