Summary: A Christian can show Christ by living content in a world of Discontentment. However, many have become just like the discontent world.
Living Content in a Discontented World
I read where a preacher said, "I hate the ice cream man. He takes a nice content moment and turns it into cravings for something my children don’t need and can’t afford – and turns contentment into discontentment."
But there’s an awful lot of ice cream trucks out there, aren’t there? They don’t all go around with children’s music piping out of their speakers – but they can make us feel discontent no matter what we have.
For me they are things like “For sale” signs in front of homes we can’t quite afford.
Want ads for cars that are nicer and newer than what I drive.
Going to people’s homes where they have much nicer furniture or really cool home stereo systems.
No matter how much we accumulate it seems we never have enough. The more we have, the more we want. It’s a phenomenon called the Barbie-doll law: "Accessories once considered optional become mandatory, creating needs and wants we never thought of before." More often than not, we come to the end of every endeavor and acquisition vaguely discontented and unhappy.
The Problem- Many Americans are in Financial Bondage through Credit Card Debt.
Stolen Credit Card
A man called the police and reported that all of his wife’s credit cards had been stolen. Then he added, “But don’t look too hard for the thief. He’s charging less than my wife ever did.”
10 How grateful I am, and how I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but for a while you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. (NLT)
I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. (Good News Version)
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (KJV)
We seem to think happiness comes with more stuff. So we do what Paul could not do to get it. You can spend more than you make. With credit cards so available to almost anyone with a job you can get yourself into a financial jam in nothing flat. There are emergencies when we may need to do that. The Lord has been dealing with me personally about this verse. The Apostle said I have learned the secret of being satisfied with a lot or a little. We applaud the happy with a lot, but we ignore the second part. Being satisfied with little, or learning to do without. All of the advertising is trying to get you to buy on impulse. It doesn’t matter how great a bargain it is if you don’t need it. Doing without when you didn’t have the money was a common practice for our parents and grandparents. But with credit cards so readily available we don’t do without very often until they are maxed out. The only way to get out of that mess, or to not get into it. Is to learn the secret Paul learned. In Timothy he said having food and raiment I will be content.