“I have a game I play with myself. I normally won't look at fliers or catalogs (or go shopping) unless I need something and am planning to make a purchase. (All it does is to tend arouse the greed monster in me and major discontentment!) But, if I do look at one of them and I find myself saying, "I think I need to get me one of those.", then I ask myself a bunch of questions.
1). Why? Do I really need it?
2). What purpose will it serve?
3). Will I be able to share it with others and minister to them through it? (Like, my carpet shampooer that cost a lot but that everyone at church and in the family uses.)
4). Can I keep it from controlling me?
5). Is it what God wants me to do with His money He's given me???
Usually that stops about 90% of my purchases!!
There's also a series of great questions in 1 Corinthians that apply to contentment.
1 Corinthians 6:12 - "Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial." Is what I'm longing for going to be beneficial in the way God defines beneficial?
1 Corinthians 6:12 - "Everything is permissible for me - but I will not be mastered by anything." Is this going to become something that will take over my life? Will it be something that I will begin to treasure more than God and what He has provided?
1 Corinthians 10:23 - "Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial."
1 Corinthians 10:23 - "Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is constructive." How will this encourage and strengthen my walk with God? How will it build others up or meet a need?
These verses help me a lot with finding contentment both with money and with my circumstances. I can offer a "sacrifice" to God of my rights (everything is permissible)!
I've also always been struck by the fact that in that passage you quoted about food and clothing, he doesn't list housing! Of course, that was in the Middle East where it is warm most of the year. But, could I be content without a house of some kind??? Hmmmm.
I know that what I've written goes back more to the financial, and your thoughts were on contentment overall. You've hit the nail on the head. I think financial discontentment is just a symptom of a deeper root of overall discontentment. I think discontentment is also a sin, because it's really an accusation at God that He has not provided what I really need - that I know more than He does what is really needed. At it's root, it's a lack of faith in the goodness of God's character or in His ability and power to provide what I need. When you look at it as the sin of unbelief, it becomes a more critical issue to deal with in your life.
So, thanks for the challenge this morning!! Great job!!!
This is part of a letter shared with me and I have permission from the writer to pass it along. I pray it speaks to you like it did to me….Thank you Kacey for letting me share it.
“I was at a class today on financial freedom. It was a required off-campus student chapel. I have to admit that I didn’t want to go! Not even a little bit! But God, being true to His nature, showed me once again that His ways are better than mine! What an awesome night! Why is it that when you want to go the least, you are blessed the most? I love that!
We were discussing the many things written in The Word that help us understand where we need to be with God before any financial ‘theory’ or ‘method’ will work. The gentleman leading the class gave us verses about God’s view of money vs. the world’s view, stewardship of God’s money (and what it means to be a good steward), and faithfulness in handling God’s money. But, what really got me thinking was the discussion on contentment. We were, of course, discussing financial contentment. But, doesn’t contentment spill over into all areas of our lives? I was the most touched by the scripture that he shared to validate his points.
Philippians 4:13 (NASB95)
13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Isn’t that a great verse? I’ve always loved that one! But, I’ve always heard it read or used in the context of strength. Like for athletes, or when you are facing a difficult situation. But, the leader of our class challenged us to look at the surrounding verses to see what else that verse is getting at.
Philippians 4:10-13 (NASB95)
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Do you see it? It’s about contentedness! In effect, we are reading that Paul had learned to be content in all things. He had learned how to be content no matter how much he had. He had learned the ‘secret’ of both being filled and being hungry! God is telling us through Paul’s hand and life that we can be content in all ‘things’ through Him who strengthens us! Wow! So, then how much should be enough for us? Whatever we have, right?
1 Timothy 6:8 (NASB95)
8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
He asked us at class – ‘Do you have food?’- Well yes, we do! ‘Do you have clothes?’ – Yeah! Ok, then, according to God’s word, you should be content! Do you believe Him? How much is ‘enough’, then? Do we, right now, have enough car? Enough clothes? Enough house? Enough salary? Enough entertainment? Enough toys? If you look at your life right now and realize that everything that you have is from God Himself, that He chose that for you on purpose, what more do you need? I was really convicted!
Hebrews 13:5 (NASB95)
5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"
Let us learn, as Paul did, the secret of being content. There is no need for anything more, because God Himself (the creator of the entire universe) will never desert you, or forsake you! Ever! Isn’t that a wonderful feeling? He will never leave us! He will never forsake us! He will never let us go without something that He knows that we need! What a loving, caring God we serve! And we can trust Him for everything! Let us be content with where we are and with what we have, and start allowing God to be in control!
Love you all! Kacey”
Time for a F.L.U.F.F. Night.
Come find out what the letters stand for...
We will have Sue Cramer (Praise and Coffee) sharing with us what God has laid on her heart "The Key to Freedom ".
We will be gathering at the 747 Restaurant at 7PM-8:30PM for delicious desserts that you may purchase or if you haven't eaten dinner--they have great food. What more could we ask for?
1. Sharing our love for the Lord (PLEASE bring a friend with you--they will be glad you asked)
2. Being with friends
3. Great desserts!
If you haven't had their desserts--you'll tell others after you have tasted them)
Tuesday, May 19th 7:00-8:30 PM
663 10th St.
Please RSVP to this emil or sign up at the Ministry Table on Sunday...we need to give them a count by May 17th