“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house full of feasting, with strife.”
Proverbs 17:1 (NIV)
Recently I gathered with four generations of a family to plan a memorial service for the great grandfather who had just gone home to be with Jesus. I had met the wife, two of the sons and a granddaughter of the deceased prior to the planning meeting, but the other 30+ family members were all new to me.
As we sat together it was so evident the impact the elderly man had on the three generations that followed him. All the members of this family were gentle and warm hearted, just like the man whose memory we honoured.
Several spoke of how their grandfather had influenced them for good. They told of hearing him pray for them and encouraging them to walk with Jesus through their life journey. Although there were some funny stories told about adventures with their loved one, no one mentioned any arguments.
This scene contrasted with another I witnessed where a family was in conflict over the company the father had founded. No one could say anything cordial to the other family members. Apparently, one of the children had quietly arranged for the founder of the firm to sign over to him the controlling shares, so that he became the company.
It only took a couple of years for the son to take the company from a highly profitable state to bankruptcy. When the matter settled, the son who gained control of the family business was destitute and tried to get financial help from his brothers and sisters.
No one wished to give the poor man anything. He had taken them all from a position of financial wealth to the place where they all had to work hard to live in ordinary circumstances. It was so sad to witness feasting with strife and the fall out caused by it.
The first family I mentioned today did not appear to have wealth but they had a wonderful sense of satisfaction—or contentment—with the lifestyle they had. No one sought to gain the estate of the departed man. They were most willing to share any way what the deceased man’s will gave to each one.
I marvelled at the peaceful family because their real wealth was in relationships and not money. They all had enough money for a modest lifestyle, and they did not wish to have more at a loved one’s expense. Their treasure was each other.
When a person has Jesus Christ as their companion through life, they are rich in what lasts, though they may be poor in what they must lose at death. Have you found contentment in life through knowing Jesus? Regardless of how poor you are in material things can you say you are rich because of Jesus Christ? Do you have the peace and quiet Jesus bestows on all who follow Him?
Take the world, but give me Jesus, In His cross my trust shall be
Till, with clearer, brighter vision, Face to face my Lord I see.
-Frances J. Crosby