Summary: The ABCs of a Biblical understanding of money.
1. Contentment is an attitude of trust in God’s provision
Contentment means you are resting in an attitude that God is going to meet your needs–needs not wants. Someone once said: Contentment is when your earning power matches your yearning power. Contentment is believing God will make sure you don’t starve to death and that you have clothes to wear to keep you warm. People who are greedy are never satisfied with the simple pleasures of life. They are always looking for what they don’t have rather than appreciating what they do have.
Most of us have heard the promise where God says He will never leave us nor forsake us–did you know that promise is within the context of being content? We read in Hebrews 13:5-6, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.’”
I read about a Harvard MBA graduate who went on a weekend vacation to one of the expensive Mexican resorts on the Baja peninsula. At the dock he saw a Mexican fisherman selling Yellowfin Tuna. He asked the fisherman how long it took him to catch those fish. “Only a couple of hours.” The fisherman said.
“Why don’t you fish longer to catch more fish?”
“This is all the fish I need to sell to support my family.”
“What do you do with the rest of your time?” The man asked.
“Oh, I’m a busy man, senior. I sleep late, fish awhile, and then I go home and have lunch with my wife, Maria. I take a siesta. Then I play with my children. After dinner I play my guitar with my amigos.”
“I could tell you how to make more money. Tuna is a hot commodity now. Just fish longer and you could make enough profit to buy a new, bigger boat. Then you could buy a fleet of boats. Then with your profits you could open your own fishing processing plant to supply LA.”
“How long will this take, senior?”
“Oh, probably, 20-30 years” replied the expert.
“Then what?” The fisherman asked.
“Then you could open your own office in LA and supply other cities. Eventually, you could open other offices. And when you’re going strong, then you announce an IPO and take your company public. You would make millions.”
“Then what would I do?” The fisherman asked.
“Then, my friend, you’d be set for life. You could retire to a coastal village sleep late, fish a little, have lunch with your wife, take a siesta, and play your guitar with your amigos.”
So why do people really make themselves sick working so hard to get ahead when the Bible says it’s like chasing the wind? It’s because they have a chronic love for money and the things money can buy. Learning to be content is the antidote to this poisonous sickness.
Now the Bible says we should always be growing to become more like Jesus, so we should never be content in who we are–God started a good work in us and He’ll keep on working on us until the Day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6) This passage is talking about being content with what we have. The main question I put before you today is: Are you content with what you have? If you are, you are a rich person, indeed.