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Peter SchalkSatisfied Member

Money Management

Contentment

April 23, 2012

 Over the years I have been blessed by having discussions with many of you who have realized and demonstrated the meaning of contentment.  Contentment is the deep-rooted assurance that God will provide the resources to meet all our needs regardless of the circumstances we are faced with.

Below are some Bible passages (NIV) to reflect on:
 
1 Tim 6:6-10: "But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness."
 
Matt 10:29, 30: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
 
Eccl 5:18-20: "This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart."
 
Prov 14:29-31: "Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." 
 
In light of the Bible passages above, what does real Biblical contentment look like? How can we grow in Biblical contentment?
 
Pray for discernment. Ask God to help you in discovering the purpose and plans He has for you. Spend time in God’s Word and thank Him in prayer for his provisions.
 
Stop trying to keep up with the ‘Vander’ Jones’. Realize that everyone’s situation is different – family, job situation, life path, etc.  If your friend buys a new car or completes a kitchen renovation, rejoice with them rather than be envious. 
 
Find an accountability partner. If you have difficulty with impulsive consumption, find a buddy you can talk to, perhaps a spouse or other family member. Be governed by the old adage ‘If it’s too good to be true, it probably is’.
 
Get used to living on less. If we truly believe that God owns it all, how does that influence our day-to-day spending? Should we answer the question “How much is enough?” and give the rest away? For those of us with abundant resources, is 10% tithing a guideline or a rule?
 
Control consumption. Save up before buying on credit or falling for ‘Do not pay until...’ schemes.
 
Stay busy. Make a difference. The Bible makes it clear that money is not the problem, but the love of money is. Maybe God has put you on this earth for the purpose of making money. If you are a business owner providing a product or service the world needs and you treat your suppliers and employees with integrity...keep at it. Through this, you can be a light to the world and more resources can be shared.
 
My hope and prayer for all of you is as Hebrews 12: 1-3 puts it... "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."


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