Good Sunday morning! The picture today is of the children of Israel gathering manna. I think it's an appropriate one with Thanksgiving Day this week. God provided for the Israelites after bringing them out of Egypt, and He's still providing for His children. And nationally on Thanksgiving Day we remember that God is our Provider. Today we're continuing in Chapter 11, which is titled "Dream House," in Meeting God in Quiet Places by F. LaGard Smith. By now, we're beginning to realize that it can take some thoughtful assessment to determine whether we're being greedy or not. One of the things we can look at in our lives is whether we're really content or not. Even if you're rich, that doesn't mean you're content. And one of the insidious ways that greed creeps into our lives is the moment when we realize we'd really like to have a better car, or a better dress, or a better house.
As LaGard says about greed: "Sometimes I think that the greed of wanting better is more insidious than the greed of wanting more. Certainly it's more easily rationalized." And we looked at that yesterday.
Now let's look at another way we can be greedy. Sometimes we're just greedy for attention! That shows up when we have an inordinate desire for achievement and recognition. When you aren't content, and you aren't getting along with your mate, it may simply be a greedy desire to have a better one. Sometimes it isn't lust that's driving the divorce, it's greed! And the same is true of putting your career ahead of your wife or husband and your family. Being content means that you know what your priorities are, and you aren't threatened by others.
You may remember what the apostle Paul said: "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." Most of us have plenty, but we are looking for perfect.
Can true joy be found when we're looking for perfection? To answer that question, we can look at where our affection lies. If we're putting our affection on things above--the eternal--why are we so worried about the here and now?
So LaGard says that the ugly secret about greed is that "it shifts the spotlight away from that which ought to make us happiest. Always wanting more tomorrow keeps us from fully entering into the moment today."
When you think about it, it becomes easy peasy:
a) Thinking about a dream house makes you overlook what you like about the house you're in.
b) Daydreaming about how romantic life might be with someone else makes you forget all the things you first loved about the person you married.
c) Always looking for some other way to be successful robs you of the enjoyment you should experience out of that which you've already achieved.
If you have no godly contentment here and now, you'll miss out on the joys of there and then! And you'd even be disappointed with heaven!
Contemplate the idea of being greedy for godliness. That attitude will allow all of us to be content and bring a refreshing peace to our world of constant striving!
Have a wonderful Sunday with God and with family!