Summary: Charles Spurgeon said, "If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled." But do we live like that's true? Do we see our circumstances as opportunities to serve and praise God or as an opportunity to complain?
So how many of you, honestly, pigged out this Thanksgiving? Did you fill yourself to the brim? Well, I did. I’m not to afraid to admit it. Good turkey. Good stuffing. Mashed potatoes. Green-bean casserole. And pie! Ohhh my wife spoiled us this year! She fixed me a Reeses peanut butter pie with whipped cream and Oreo crust. OOOhhh heaven! And guess what? I overate. But that’s kind of the tradition, isn’t it? I’m excused. Right? On Thanksgiving you eat as much as you want, and we usually do. Even my dog and cat got into it. We gave them some leftovers after the meal, and my poor cat couldn’t even walk afterwards. Her tummy was so full, all she wanted to do is turn over and beg us to rub her belly. On Thanksgiving most Americans enjoy filling themselves with an abundance of food. Other than being Thankful, what usually describes the Holiday is Food, Family, and Football.
Can I ask you something though? Are we more thankful when we have more than we need or just enough? Sometimes I think having an over-abundance makes us take it for granted of just how blessed we are. Sometimes less is more. And then when we have less, it makes it easier to complain. If my full belly was any indication of how blessed I was this year, then I have nothing to complain about.
But Has this been a tough year? Has this been a year of ups and downs? Has this been a year of a lot of negative things happening? Yeah, definitely. But Do we still have much to be thankful for? So we could complain about what we don’t have or we can be thankful for what we do.
Philip Parham tells the story of a rich industrialist who was disturbed to find a fisherman sitting lazily beside his boat. "Why aren't you out there fishing?" he asked.
"Because I've caught enough fish for today," said the fisherman.
"Why don't you catch more fish than you need?' the rich man asked.
"What would I do with them?"
"You could earn more money," came the impatient reply, "and buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. You could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make more money. Soon you'd have a fleet of boats and be rich like me."
The fisherman asked, "Then what would I do?"
"You could sit down and enjoy life," said the industrialist.
"What do you think I'm doing now?" the fisherman replied as he looked calmly out to sea.
Our Daily Bread, May 18, 1994.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon said these profound words:
"If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled."
Today we are going look at what God’s Words say about contentment.
Please Turn in your Bibles to... Philippians chapter four
The English language is a funny thing when you think about it. The words content (cun-tent) and content (cahn-tent) are both spelled the same way, but have distinctly different meanings. To be content is to be satisfied with what one has. Noah Webster defines it as rest or quietness of the mind in the present condition; satisfaction which holds the mind in peace, restraining complaint, opposition, or further desire, and often implying a moderate degree of happiness.
So you are happy with what you have. You’re not looking or focusing on what you don’t have, but you are setting your mind at rest and focusing on what you do have. Being satisfied with one’s lot, with one’s means.
Now the other word content (cahn-tent) means to be held or to hold. It is the stuff that is contained within. It is stuff that makes something up, as in the contents of a jar… the contents of a Book… the contents of a movie. Or what about the contents of your life? What sums up your life? If you were to make a Table of Contents for your life, what would be the different titles of the chapters within? In other words, how would you describe your life? And as you imagine those Chapters in your life’s Table of Contents…
Are you content with your content?
Let’s look at Philippians 4:11-14 (NIV)- I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.