Summary: Paul said in Philippians 4:12 that he learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. We need to learn that secret too.
THE SECRET OF BEING CONTENT
INTRODUCTION: Fisherman story from Nelson’s ill. Pg. 146. I’m going to be talking today about contentment. In Philippians 4:12 Paul said that he had learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. We need to learn that secret as well.
1) The secret to discontentment. As I was getting into studying about what makes us discontent I realized it really boils down to one thing: selfishness. Our old nature is self. We fight with being self-directed people. We are pleasure seekers who get caught-up in instant gratification. Instead of being content with what we have we want to have the latest and greatest. We feel we need to have something new to satisfy us. Although the root of discontent is selfishness, I see two ways in which they are played out: covetousness and greed. Even though these two are closely related, there is a difference. When I covet, I specifically want what you have. When I’m greedy I just want what’s there. It doesn’t have to belong to anyone.
· Covetousness. Covetousness goes beyond seeing someone with something nice and wanting one for yourself. In that, I don’t care if you have yours I just would like one too. Although that could still set the stage for discontent, covetousness goes deeper. When I covet, emotions start becoming engaged. I become angry with you because you have something I want. I may devise a plan to get it from you. I not only get angry and resentful toward you, I also get angry and resentful toward God because from my perspective, he is depriving me of what I think I should have. Covetousness is a big factor in being discontent. When Robinson Crusoe was on a deserted island after his ship had wrecked, he found a bible among the chests he had salvaged. His heart was changed upon reading it and he uttered these words. “I learned to look more upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark side, and to consider what I enjoyed, rather than what I wanted; and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts, that I cannot express them; and which I take notice here, to put those discontented people in mind of it, who cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them, because they see and covet something that He has not given them.” When I covet, I am robbed of enjoying that which I already have. I am not satisfied with what God has given me; I want what he has given you. Quote: “Contentment is not having everything you want, but wanting everything you have.” When I covet I am discontent.
· Greed. 1st Tim. 6:6-10. If I’m a greedy person and my agenda is to get rich I’m going to fall into temptations like lust, envy and jealousy. I’m going to fall into the traps of corruption and compromise. I’m going to become trapped by my own envious desires as I forsake my morals and convictions in order to achieve my goal of financial gain. My greed, my foolish and harmful desires will plunge me into ruin and destruction. For when I love money and not God (and we cannot love both, we cannot serve two masters) I set myself up for engaging in various evil activities. The love of money is at the root of embezzlement, prostitution, counterfeiting, gambling, pornography, drug trafficking, human trafficking, the list goes on and on. And people who decide that the pursuit of money is more important than the pursuit of God pierce themselves with many griefs. Their grief comes in never being satisfied. Their grief comes in doing dishonest things for money and having to live with that. Their grief comes in getting caught and having to pay the price for being discontent. Ecc. 5:10, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” John D. Rockefeller, often regarded as the richest person in history, was asked, ‘How much money is enough? He answered, “Just a little bit more.” Charles Spurgeon said, “You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” Greed breeds discontent.