Saturday, November 20, 2010

Contentment on Thanksgiving Day~

Death and Destruction are never satisfied,
and neither are the eyes of man. Proverbs 27:20

 Next week comes Thanksgiving Day! You probably look forward to it, because it's truly a day of family and friends and food! I know I do. But in the 11th chapter of Meeting God in Quiet Places, F. LaGard Smith is asking us whether we are content with our God-given blessings. Or do we experience greed without fully realizing it? It's worth considering!

You may already know that LaGard has a home in the beautiful Cotwolds of England. But in this chapter titled "Dream House," he is not just talking about the house where he lives, but a house in a village close by that is much larger and more beautiful than his own. He had dreamed of owning it, but never thought it would be for sale. When it came up "For Sale," his excitement grew as he thought about owning his dream house. But his excitement waned when he found out the price--far beyond anything he could afford. And, of course, the point is: Do we ever stop wanting more? Are we ever content?

In America, most of us have all our needs met, and if we don't, there is a church or a government program to help. So in reality, you might say that you're rich beyond measure if you're reading this page. But what happens when our needs are met, and we are satisfied with food, clothing, and shelter? You may notice that, surprisingly, our needs expand! We don't need more, we need better. As King Solomon said: "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income." Is that me? Is that you?

If you're one of those people who constantly wants more, do you see yourself in the parable of the man who pulled down his barns in order to build bigger ones? Jesus says of this kind of man, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." But, you may insist, if the man pulled down his barns because his crop was so big, isn't that just being wise? Is it need or is it greed?

The things you needed last year have been purchased, but what about your new need? It wasn't so long ago in this country that farmers and sometimes city folks didn't have water piped in, toilets that flush, or central heating. Now even the lowliest person in this country often takes these "needs" for granted. I only present this thought to help us all see how needs can turn into greeds. Of course, the people in this country are truly blessed, and we are thankful for those blessings. But have we turned into a greedy people because our basic needs are met? I only ask the question for us to consider.
Is your "need" or "greed" warranted because you don't want more, you just want something better? Say, you don't want a second car, you just want a car that suits your personality. You have clothes, but you want a nicer dress to wear. You have a rug, but you want a prettier rug. This is surely just an appeal for all the good things in life--beauty, quality, and the bounty of God's generosity! After all, you aren't really asking for more money. But what are you asking for exactly? You should be aware that the more, which you think you need, is showing the sin of discontent. The opposite of contentment is greed! And the opposite of greed is contentment!

More on this tomorrow. Have a wonderful Saturday with the family!

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