A Content Heart

A Content Heart

Godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.
—1 Timothy 6:6

Who is happier: a man with eleven million dollars or a man with eleven children? Answer, the man with eleven children. Why? Because he doesn’t want more.

More. It is a thief that robs us of enjoyment for the present. It is an instigator of anxious thoughts about the future. It is a motivator of jealousy that destroys relationships. More is a cruel taskmaster that refuses to allow us to rest. And by the way, more is a disease to which we’re all susceptible. Every one of us can fall victim to its virus.

There are different ways we observe the symptoms of this infection of the heart: I wish I drove a newer car. I wish I lived in a larger house. I wish I had a better job. I wish I had a different mate. More, different, better, larger—these are all symptoms of the disease that keeps us from enjoying the present.

Now, I’m not suggesting that dissatisfaction is always bad. Sometimes dissatisfaction can be a good thing. For example, it was Orville and Wilbur Wright’s dissatisfaction with travel by land and sea that encouraged them to develop the airplane. It was Thomas Edison’s dissatisfaction with having to read by candlelight that encouraged him to invent the electric light. It was Nehemiah’s dissatisfaction with the condition of the city of Jerusalem that caused him to engage in that massive rebuilding program. It was the apostle Paul’s dissatisfaction with the spiritual condition of the church at Corinth that led him to write those two letters that are now in our Bibles. The desire for more or better or larger is harmful only when it keeps us from enjoying what God has already provided us for the present and provokes us to worry about the future.

By the way, it’s this desire for more that many times robs us of the benefits of living in the kingdom of God. You know, you don’t have to wait until you die to experience the benefits of the kingdom of God. To the extent that you allow God to rule in your heart right now, you can enjoy the benefits of living in the kingdom of God.

I want you to think about this. When Christ finally comes back to earth and establishes His kingdom here, do you think we’re going to be worrying about the balances in our 401(k) account or the balances on our Visa bill? Are we going to be worrying about people who have larger mansions than we do? No, we’re going to have satisfaction at that point. But we don’t have to wait until we die to experience that. God wants us to experience satisfaction with what He has provided for us right now. How do we do that? Well, the opposite of more is not less. The opposite of more is contentment. We must learn how to develop a content heart.

***
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Developing a Content Heart” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.