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Set an address in Google maps and you will get step-by-step directions to the desired location.  Then, as you pull up, Google announces, "You have arrived."  There is a sense of pride in the map's automated voice.  Because everyone wants to arrive.  Everyone wants to feel like they've made it.  We all want the sense that we are successful and secure.

The problem is many people see security in what they earn or own.  They see success in what they have or what their money can provide.  Be here's the deal.  Money is a bad lover.  It always cheats, always steals, and never delivers on its promises.   That's why the Bible teaches us that the love of money is the root of many sins and why Jesus tells us to worship God instead of money.  (1 Timothy 6:10 and Matthew 6:24)

So, if the good life isn't seen in what you own or what you can buy, where is the good life with money found?  It is determined by how you see what you have and what you want.  Paul taught us to see not plenty or want, but to be content in every way and every situation.  Read it from Philippians 4:12-13:  12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Don't miss that our contentment isn't circumstantial or situational, but is based on the strength that Jesus gives.  Contentment is possible because Jesus is working!

Three Keys to Contentment

#1: Seeing Tomorrow’s Garage Sale in Today's Wants
Remember the emotion you felt at the last garage sale your family had. It felt so good to get rid of that junk and to get a little cash in the process.  Now compare that feeling to Christmas morning. We are super excited to get gifts.  Big difference huh?  Same stuff. What changed? Time.   With time, what we have either loses value to us and we sell it or gains more value to us and we treasure it.  Contentment is your treasure.

#2: Wanting What You Have Not Just Having What You Want
When was the last time you looked at what you have? Most of us have full closets, cabinets stuffed to the max, and attics that hold yesterday's treasures.  Some of us even have storage buildings and storage units to hold all of the stuff that our homes can't house.  When is the last time you realized all that you have and all of the ways that you have been blessed?  Here is the struggle:

  • Wanting what you have… shopping in your own closets...takes intentionality
  • Just wanting what you have….the desire for stuff is inherent 

To live a life of contentment, we must grow in our ability to resist the inherent drive to have new things, more things, or the latest and the greatest things.

#3: Counting Your Neighbor’s Blessings Rather Than Your Own
This is hard but you have to make yourself do this.  When you find yourself trying to keep up with the Joneses, don't compete with them, but celebrate with them.  The greatest way to fend off jealousy of any kind is to celebrate others' success and fortune.

Contentment teaches us what the writer of Hebrews commands in 13:5:  5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  

Contentment says that God has given me what I have and He has given them what they have.  It's not about us and them.  It's about trusting Him and enjoying everything that He has given you.