Batteries not included
Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude. – 1 Timothy 4:4
10 Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!
11 The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth – except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!
12 People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep.
15 We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us.
16 And this, too, is a very serious problem. People leave this world no better off than when they came. All their hard work is for nothing – like working for the wind.
17 Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud – frustrated, discouraged, and angry.
18 Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.
19 And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life – this is indeed a gift from God.
20 God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.
I am sure that most of us have thought what life would be like if we had “a little bit more.”
How many of us can identify with the unforgettable words Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof?
“Dear God, you made many, many poor people. I realize, of course, that it’s no shame to be poor. But it’s no great honor either! So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?”
“If I were a rich man if I were a wealthy man. I wouldn’t have to work hard. If I were rich, I’d have the time that I lack to sit in the synagogue and pray.”
“You decreed I should be what I am. Would it spoil some vast eternal plan if I were a wealthy man?”
“To whom little is not enough nothing is enough” (Epicurus). When asked, “How much money is enough money?” John D. Rockefeller replied, “Just a little bit more.” For the average person, it is impossible to begin to understand immense wealth. There is a point at which wealth becomes so vast that it is itself meaningless.
Consider the enormous wealth of some of the richest people in our world in the year 2020: Jeff Bezos $112 billion, Bill Gates $109 billion, Bernard Arnault $98 billion, Warren Buffett, $85 billion, Mark Zuckerberg $74 billion, Vladimir Putin $69 billion.
Wealth often does not bring contentment, rather discontentment. Discontentment is revealed in two ways: the constant effort to acquire more and more (Ecclesiastes 5:8–12) and what happens to those who do acquire it (Ecclesiastes 5:13–17).
It comes down to greed versus gratitude and contentment. Does money ever satisfy? Have you ever considered the fact that, for the wealthy, the more they get the more they want? Enough is never enough!
REFLECT & PRAY
Would it hurt if we had more wealth? The answer is yes and no depending on how we receive it. If wealth were to come our way, wisdom demands that, we remember and are grateful to the Father who gave us power to make wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).
Father help me to seek gratitude with contentment, rather than greed and attainment without end.
Solomon realized that there is a perspective regarding wealth which produces joy and contentment. Life is a gift from the Father. Life, with its daily struggles, is meant to be embraced and enjoyed as part of the Father’s plan and purpose.
The Father has provided all things for us to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
The mystery of contentment is actually quite simple. “Add not to a man’s possessions but take away from his desires” (Epicurus).
We are to be in control of our attitude about wealth rather than allowing our attitude about wealth to be in control of us.
After decades of searching and contemplation, Solomon came to realize that the Father provides not only riches and wealth but also the ability to be satisfied and enjoy them. Satisfaction is not included with prosperity. It comes separately.
Our society is replete with advertisements “As Seen on TV, blah, blah, blah . . .” Batteries not included
When Solomon’s perspective becomes our perspective, everything changes.
This is one of the mysteries of our age. People go from one thing to another seeking satisfaction, never to find it. Folks experience a temporary high or exhilaration of their achievements, acquisitions, fame, or conquests, but it fades and does not last.
Everything on planet Earth is temporal except for the word of God and human souls. Contentment requires a major paradigm shift. Rather than focusing on things that are temporal, we concentrate upon things which are permanent.
1 Timothy 6:6 true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.
When we come to know, understand, and experience godliness, we discover the true meaning of contentment. True contentment comes from godliness in the heart, not wealth in my hand (Wiersbe).
Effort without contentment is vanity. Take a moment to contemplate this. Is what you are continually striving for wearing you down, or providing contentment and peace?
When we correct our attitude, we learn to receive with gratitude the good things the Father has provided, something remarkable happens.
Ecclesiastes 5:20 God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.
1 Timothy 6:7-10
7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.
8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10 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.
The Father bestows abundant wealth and possessions on some of His children. The Father intends for us to encourage others. The Father desires for us to be channels of His blessings, not containers of it. We are to be rivers of living water, not stagnant wells.
Is it time to get off the running wheel of pursuing contentment? Is it time to learn to develop “an attitude of gratitude” for what the Father has already provided?
Hamsters are born to run. The little fellows run miles every night seeking food. The Father’s children are not hamsters. The children of the King are born to seek true godliness.