Summary: reasons for discontentment in life and how to find contentment
Finding Contentment in Life
At one time Howard Hughes was the richest man in the world. All he ever really wanted in life was more. He wanted more money, so he parlayed inherited wealth into a billion-dollar pile of assets. He wanted more fame, so he broke into the Hollywood scene and soon became a filmmaker and star. He wanted more sensual pleasures, so he paid handsome sums to indulge his every sexual urge. He wanted more thrills, so he designed, built, and piloted the fastest aircraft in the world. He wanted more power, so he secretly dealt political favors so skillfully that two US presidents became his pawns. All he ever wanted was more. He was absolutely convinced that more would bring him true satisfaction. Unfortunately, history shows otherwise. He concluded his life emaciated; colorless; sunken chest; fingernails in grotesque, inches-long corkscrews; rotting, black teeth; tumors; innumerable needle marks from his drug addiction. Howard Hughes died believing the myth of more. He died a billionaire junkie, insane by all reasonable standards. (Bill Hybels in Leadership, Vol. X #3 Summer, 1989, p38).
In spite of his example, many continue in their ever-consuming pursuit of more. As a result, we have TV shows where people go hungry, lie, and backstab to win a prize; others eat insects and lay in tubs of snakes. Some people work themselves into early graves, while others accumulate strangling debt. Today, Americans owe $400 billion on their credit cards.
Why, in spite of having a higher standard of living than the majority of the people in world; why, in spite of enjoying many luxuries that previous generations never even dreamed of, are so many in America, discontent? Why is it, that so many believe that they simply must have more? I believe the Bible reveals 3 primary reasons we are discontent.
I. REASONS PEOPLE ARE DISCONTENT –
1. Some people are seeking the WRONG THINGS
In these verses Jesus warns about making earthly things, earthly treasures a priority. My friends, earthly treasures will never bring happiness. If your desire is a nice house, there is always someone with a bigger one. If your desire is a nice car, it will only wear out and get old. If your priority is beauty, it will soon fade. If your priority is wealth, it can be lost and even if it isn’t, you will find that if wealth is a priority to you, you will never have enough. Solomon tried all the sensual pleasures and all the material goods the world had to offer and in the end he declared, “It’s all vanity!”
Why are so many discontent? Some are discontent because they seek the wrong things. Some are discontent because they listen to the wrong leader.
2. Listen to the WRONG LEADER – v24
Verse 24 says no body can serve 2 masters. My friends, you only have 2 choices in who will run your life. Either Jesus will be your Boss, or you will try to while the Devil secretly whispers directions in your ear.
If you remember, just before Jesus began His earthly ministry, He went into the wilderness where He fasted and prayed for 40 days. At the end of that time, the Devil came and tempted Him 3 times.
A. Physical – First, the Devil told Jesus to let the physical be His Boss, and to turn stones into bread. My friends, Jesus could have done that, but to do so would have short-circuited His ministry before He even began. Today, the Devil continues to push the lie that physical things will make you happy. There is a reason why Super Bowl ads cost as much as they do. It’s because advertisers know that is their best opportunity to sow seeds of discontentment, to make you believe that if you eat the right things or buy the right things, that you’ll be happy. My friends, if you listen to the wrong leader, he will tell you that physical things bring happiness.
B. Popularity – Second, the Devil told Jesus to throw Himself off the Temple so the angels would come and rescue Him, and He would be immediately popular. He tried to convince Jesus that all He needed was people’s approval. He continues to tell that lie today. Look at the cosmetic commercials. What did we do before the Hair Club for Men? Look at the increase in cosmetic surgery. After an hour of TV I’m tempted to run out and buy a new 4-bladed razor, a Trailblazer, and a new pair of jeans so I’ll be popular and happy. The Devil continues to tell the lie that if you do and have the right things, if you are popular, then you will be happy. Marylyn Monroe proves that’s a lie.