It seems every time I turn on the news lately there is more and more about the supply shortages, the ships sitting waiting to be unloaded, not enough trucks or drivers to offload, etc., and how all of this will affect us this Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are urged to buy our turkeys early, buy our Christmas presents early, buy, Buy, BUY.
We live in a consumer economy. We are not a farming economy, nor a manufacturing one. Our economy is based on us buying “stuff.” In order to get us to the store to buy and keep the economy thriving, companies and corporations must make us want more. So, they want us discontented. What we have is no longer good enough, there is a new and improved version we just must have.
Learning to be contented in a consumer economy is a tough road. Contented means satisfied, happy, relaxed, comfortable, comforted. Those words do not describe many in our society or even in our churches. Contentment must be learned as it does not come naturally.
“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” [Philippians 4:11b-12 HCSB]
I think the first step to contentment is to realize that contentment is not found in things. We think if we just had a little bit more, we will be content. But when we get that little bit more, we find it is not as satisfying as we thought it would be and we crave just another “little bit more.”
Contentment is found in a person. “Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” [Hebrews 13:5-6 HCSB]
To know that the LORD Christ Jesus is our Ever-Present Helper is the only thing that will bring lasting contentment.