Two Myths That Rob You of Contentment

Two Myths That Rob You of Contentment

You cannot serve God and wealth.
–Matthew 6:24

Let me share with you two myths that we often buy into that fuel our desire for more. Myth number one: “I can have it all.” That’s particularly popular in our American culture. People say, “If you work hard enough there is absolutely no limit to what you can achieve. You can have it all.” No, you really can’t. The fact is, there will always be somebody who has more than you have. I remember reading a passage from a sermon preached by Bill Hybels entitled “Rare and Remarkable Virtues.” And he was recounting the tragic story of the late billionaire Howard Hughes. He said, “All Howard Hughes ever really wanted in life was more. He wanted more money, so he parlayed inherited wealth into a billion-dollar pile of assets. He wanted more fame, so he broke into the Hollywood scene and soon became a film maker and a star. . . . He wanted more thrills so he designed, built, and piloted the fastest aircraft in the world. He wanted more power so he secretly dealt political favors so skillfully that two U.S. presidents became his pawns. All he ever wanted was more.” He then described how Hughes died: emaciated, colorless, with grotesque fingernails, rotting black teeth, tumors, and needle marks from his drug addiction. He concluded, “Howard Hughes died believing the myth of more.”

Myth number two that fuels our dissatisfaction: “I could be happy if only I had (blank). There is something out there that could fill the hole in my heart.” Some people fill in that blank with a different job, a bigger house, more time off on a vacation, perhaps a different mate. We all think there’s something out there that would really make us happy, but you know how most people fill in that blank? They say, “I could be happy if only I had more money.” For us, money is a passport that allows us to experience things we truly think will make us happy, and that’s why there are so many warnings in the Bible against the love of money. In 1 Timothy 6:10, the apostle Paul said, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and wealth.” It’s interesting that He didn’t say you cannot serve God and sex, or God and your job, or God and recreational activities. All of those things can become idols, no doubt about it, but there’s something unique about the allure of money. We think money is the passport, the key, to purchasing the things we think will make us happy in life, but it’s all an illusion.

Contentment is the attitude that says: “I’m going to be satisfied with what God has given me.”

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Contentment over Comparison” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.

Bill Hybels, “Preaching for Total Commitment,” in Haddon Robinson and Craig Brian Larson, “The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching: A Comprehensive Resource for Today’s Communicators” (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009).

Scripture quotations are 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.