Summary: Finding contentment in the midst of a discontent world is possible only in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
- A barber in a small town was busy cutting hair one day when the local cop walked in to get a haircut. And the barber was feeling a bit generous that day, so he said to the cop... "Since you do such a good job protecting us, and watching over us... today’s haircut is free." The cop said he appreciated that, and the next day when the barber showed up at his shop, there were a dozen donuts waiting for him.
In walks a local florist. The barber tells him how much he appreciates all the work that he has done around town, planting bushes and flowers and making the town look real nice, so he gives him a free haircut. The next day, the barber shows up at his shop and there are a dozen flowers waiting for him.
In walks the local preacher, the barber tells him how he is feeling generous that day, and how much he appreciates all his hard work with the children and taking care of the needs of the people, so the preacher gets a free haircut.
The next the barber shows up at his shop, and there are a dozen preachers waiting there for him.
- Isn’t that the mark of our society. The insatiable desire for more. When we get a little bit, we want a little bit more. When we get ahead, we want to get ahead a little bit more. Solomon describes us perfectly when he wrote... "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless." That is us. We are never satisfied with our income. Instead, we desire more security, better investments, more hours on the job, more, more, more. But it’s all meaningless.
- If we know that it’s meaningless, then why do we still find ourselves struggling with that overwhelming desire to place all of our worth in the money and wealth we acquire. What do we have to do to gain a life that is filled with contentment, instead of the burning desire to make more, to get more, to accumulate more. What will it take to be free, to have contentment in our life. To have that calmness in our mind and in our soul that is truly satisfied with what we have, with the portion that God has already given us.
- Well, for that answer lets take a look at a parable that Jesus told which is recorded in the book of Luke 12:13-21. Jesus is right in the middle of teaching his disciples. But as he is talking with his disciples, thousands of people gather around to listen to his words (12:1). He begins by talking about the need to acknowledge God above all else. And in the midst of his teaching, someone from the crowd pipes up and asks Jesus a question... Lk 12:13
- You see this sort of question was normally asked of the great and respected rabbis, so this man obviously recognized that Jesus had authority, and so probably with his brother standing right there, he asks this question. But, upon hearing the question, Jesus responds not by answering it, but by answering the motive behind the man’s question. And what was his motive, what was in his heart when the question was asked? Well, Jesus makes it clear, when he responds this way...
- Lk 12:14-15
- What’s in your heart? In the depth of your heart, in the place that only God can see. When all of your titles (minister, elder, deacon, teacher) are stripped away. When all of our flowery words that we have learned to say in order to gain approval, when all of our exterior motions are proven meaningless... what is in the depth of your heart. What is it that you desire more than anything else?
- For many, the depths of our heart will reveal this desire for abundance. This desire to have bigger homes, fancier cars, better jobs, wealthier farms, this desire to accumulate and obtain, and cling to the possessions of this world. A desire for just a little bit more. Maybe we are quick to deny this, but let us think about our lives for a moment.
- Why do we feel the need to spend extra hours at work instead of extra hours at home? Why do we feel the need to elevate people who have wealth over people who have none? Why do we feel the need to spend more on things that moth and rust destroy, instead of on things that are eternal? Why do we place our trust and hope in the investments we make and the money we save for a rainy day, and the cushion in our checkbook, instead of trusting in a God who knows the very number of hairs on our head.