Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have”
While driving home from work one summer afternoon in the rural community where I live, I noticed a couple of cows were in two fields separated by a barbed wire fence. The grass was equally lush and green in both pastures. Yet, each cow could be seen poking its head through the fence as far as possible to graze on the grass in the adjoining field. As the old saying goes, “The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.” My brethren, as believers in Christ, we often display the very same tendency. Something that belongs to someone else, or some talent or ability that is beyond our reach, can seem so much more appealing than what we already possess.
My brethren, the Lord wants his children to be satisfied with what He has given to us. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t be diligent in using our God-given abilities to take advantage of opportunities to improve our situation. However, we aren’t to be discontent with what we have, nor to covet our neighbor’s possessions. Rather, we are to keep eternity’s values in view, to thank the Lord for what we have and to be content with it. When we know we are living according to God’s will and we are confident that He will meet our every need, we will lose our appetite for the “grass on the other side of the fence” because it won’t look so green to us anymore.
Without a doubt, this is a very selfish, self-indulgent and demanding generation in which we live. With every new technological advance, we seem to need more and more things to be satisfied. No matter how much we accumulate, it seems we never have enough. The more we have, the more we want. When I was growing up, we didn’t have computers, but I hear young people today complaining because the one they have isn’t the latest model or they don’t have the latest cell phone or iPad. However, what is really sad is that it isn’t only of undisciplined children, but also adults.
Henry Kissinger, former U. S. Secretary of States said this, “To Americans, tragedy is wanting something very badly and not getting it. But many people have had to learn … that perhaps the worst form of tragedy is wanting something badly, getting it, and finding it empty.” My brethren, true contentment comes from our Lord alone. We must ask Him to flood us with His presence and strengthen us with His love, so that we will be satisfied with Him and what He has given to us. Only then can we rest in contentment. Remember that the contented person is never poor; the discontented is never rich.
O Lord, give me the grace to be
Content with what You give to me.
No, more than that, let me rejoice
In all You send, for it’s Your choice! – Anon
Thinking it over:
(1) On a scale of 1-10, how content are you?
(2) How does the world promote dissatisfaction?
(3) What can you do to become more content?
(4) Are you experiencing the joy that comes when godliness is combined with contentment?
Our value is determined not by what we have but by what we do with what we have.