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The other night I saw an interview with, 2008 Presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee. Mr. Huckabee, in speaking of his childhood in Hope, Arkansas, said, “We were poor, but we didn’t know we were poor because everybody around us lived the same way”.
That, to me, is an interesting statement, because in recent years, I have heard a number of people say the exact same thing, “We were poor but we didn’t know it”.
That tell us something huge about contentment and happiness; satisfaction does not come from possessions- it comes form perspective.
Here is the Apostle Paul with a little heavenly perspective in 1 Tim 6:6-9 “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. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.”
Live a godly life and be content. That’s Paul’s message. “Do you have food, clothing and a love for Jesus?” he would ask, “Then be content” he would say.
But can a person really be content with only food and clothing? Is that even possible? My son Ben, if he could talk, would say “yes”. Ben is four months old and very content. If he’s fed, dry and warm, then he’s one happy little dude. It’s not that he’s stupid – he just doesn’t know there is much else to life. Satisfaction does not come from possessions- it comes form perspective.
I was satisfied not having an iphone until I knew one could be had. My kids were fine with not having a play-land in the backyard until they saw that the neighbors had one. Most people have no desire for carrots until one is dangled in front of their nose. Contentment does not come from the acquisition of things- it is a byproduct of perspective.
Wanting more and more is a foolish and harmful lust that will drown us in destruction and perdition. The desire for things is a fire that will never be satisfied and a blaze whose flames know no bounds. We need to change the way we look at ourselves, what we are supposed to have, and what we think we need. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” and If contentment doesn’t come from having what we want but wanting what we have, then we need a holy change of perspective.