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Radical Contentment

Friday, November 18, 2016

Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them (Psalm 62:10, esv).

Do you want to be contented in life? Covetousness runs rampant in our culture, and contentment is rare. All in favor of contentment? If so, make note of these three choices that lead to genuine, biblical, lasting contentment.

“Trust God’s provision and say, ‘I have enough.’”

1. Seek it.
Seek contentment as a lifestyle. Choose it. Acknowledge that you would not be happier if you had more. You wouldn’t be—you’d likely be more miserable. God’s Word contains clear warnings for us: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25). “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9). Do you believe this yet? More does not equal happier.

2. Say it.
Cultivate the capacity to say, “I have enough.” Let those words ring through your home. Push yourself back from the table early and say, “I’ve had enough.” When you handle money—a surprise bonus from work, an inheritance from your great-aunt, even just an extra bill in your pocket—resist the cravings for more. Follow the words “I have enough” with a prayer: “Lord, how can I use this for You?”

“I have enough” runs counter to our culture, but there is victory in this idea. So even if you don’t fully believe it yet, decide to trust God’s provision and say, “I have enough.” The trust of contentment is just like the trust we exercise at conversion: “I don’t know if this will change my life, but my own thing is not working. Lord, if You’re real, come into my life and forgive my sins.” That’s a salvation breakthrough. Have a sanctification breakthrough, and say by faith, “God, I have enough.” Let those words ring from our cars and our churches and our trips to the mall.

3. Settle it.
Psalm 62:10 advises us, “If riches increase, set not your heart on them.” Here’s the challenge: choose a lifestyle; don’t let your income dictate your lifestyle. Choose a comfortable level of living that meets your needs, and do not compromise that with more spending when more income arrives. If you don’t choose a lifestyle, this culture will choose one for you, and by default it will be the lifestyle of living beyond your means. Be counter-cultural. Be radical. Choose a lifestyle that’s biblically based. Eternally focused. Others-oriented.

Let enough be enough. Learn from the examples of those around you (both the contented and the covetous). You will save yourself a world of hurt and know the joy of a truly contented attitude.

Journal

  • Spiritual discipline requires us to choose and say something before we feel it. How do those words, “I have enough,” sit with you? Do they feel forced or true?
  • Consider examples of lives you’ve seen marked by covetousness and contentment. Describe a poster child for each. What can you learn from them?

Prayer
God,
I have enough. These are hard words that I need to practice, yet true words that can fill my heart and transform me. By faith I choose to believe, “My God will supply every need of [mine] according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). I have enough because I have You. You are my everything. In the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, amen.



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