“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”
1 Timothy 6:6-9
Discontentment is at first a whispered promise of something better. When the imagination is seduced by the romance of what could be, the whisper becomes a gale-force wind that drives us into the pursuit of more, better, newer.
This is the heartbeat of our culture. Discontent motivates political movements and business decisions. It is the reason athletes risk their reputations and careers by taking performance-enhancing drugs. Advertisers do not merely capitalize on the public’s discontent, they seek to create it. I could be wrong, but I think it would be fair to say that discontentment is the primary reason for personal debt.
We, as Christians, are not exempt from the lure of material things. Who hasn’t seen the anticipated Powerball jackpot and envisioned a new house, a new car, and, of course, a large check to the church? Personally, I like gadgets. I like kitchen gadgets and tech gadgets. I love my Kuerig. I miss my Galaxy Note tablet (it needs a new screen). We all feel the gravitational pull of discontentment, don’t we?
So, how do we keep ourselves from being swept away in the current of materialism? We must be anchored to the gospel. Romans 4:13-16 says, “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring – not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.”
What is the promise guaranteed to those of faith? It is that we are heirs of the world. We stand to inherit everything! Because of the cross, we share in God’s promise to Abraham that it is all ours. We do not need to have it all now. When this vapor-like life has passed, we will possess more than we have ever dared dreamed. How foolish we would be to spend our lives amassing all we can in the brevity of the here and now at the expense of eternally reigning with Christ (Luke 12:13-21).
Set your hope fully on the promises of the gospel. The trinkets we often desire will be broken, or stolen, or become outdated. But, David says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). Seek to treasure God such that poverty and wealth are irrelevant to the joy of your heart.