“I have learned to be content
whatever the circumstances.”
Philippians 4:11 (NIV)
In the minds of type “A” people the very thought of being content is negative. To be at ease in one’s situation is not a concept these people understand. They are driven people whose reach always exceeds their grasp.
Type “A” people are work obsessed and they feel driven to compete with others and come out on top. So they find themselves discontent with where they are and are always seeking for the next conquest. For them no amount of prosperity is enough. They never arrive and always see themselves as needing to climb the next rung of the ladder.
In my years of ministry and doing many weddings, it has been interesting to observe that there has been a significant shift in the places brides register to obtain their wedding gifts. Formerly they would register in the usual department stores we all frequent. Now many young couples register only in high end places.
We go in fear and trembling to the exclusive places and see that a one place setting of desired china costs more than we paid for an entire 8 place setting a few weeks ago. Something seems to be wrong with this picture.
Jesus once said (Luke 12:15),
“…a man’s life does not consist
in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
As I look at mature people I can see the same phenomenon almost universally. Rare is the person who buys a Chev when they can afford a Cadillac. Most people cannot afford more expensive housing than they have. So we cannot be distressed with the young when we can see similar traits in ourselves.
Sadly, if we are those people who think that enough is not enough, we will be always dissatisfied with life and where we are at. Jesus never owned a home, He never wrote a book, He never established a company, He never invented and patented some great device, He was never more that a few miles from where He was born. He never led an army, He was only on the public scene for 3 ½ years at the most. He held no degrees from a prestigious university or place of learning. He was a penniless preacher.
Yet He revolutionized the world which now reckons years from His birth, His followers through the ages have established many hospitals, universities and other social institutions for the improvement of society and the alleviation of suffering. Some of the most brilliant minds of the ages have bowed the knee and called Him Lord and God.
His followers were willing to be tortured and die horrible deaths for His sake. No one in history has done so much with so little. No wonder that Paul could say he had learned to be content with what he had. He had Jesus and that was enough.
Do you measure the value of your possessions like the early Christians? Do you find in Jesus everything you need for this life and the next? Is He enough?