Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5
(FYI – You may remember that my hours as a pharmacist were suddenly cut from 12 hours/week to 3 hours/week in April. This week I have the opportunity to work 39 hours, AND I will be helping with Bible school whenever I am not at work. I usually commit to be as available to moderate comments and answer emails as possible here on my blog. This week, my time will be much more limited. I hope you will still leave comments, but it may take me longer than usual to be able to respond and I appreciate your patience. I should have a lot more time again after this week. Thanks for understanding! And thank You, God, for blessing me with some extra days of work.)
Is my contentment in Christ alone?
This is an important question! It is VERY, VERY easy for me to unknowingly put my faith and trust and hopes in many other things besides Jesus.
- having nice things
- being healthy
- a certain amount of money in savings
- being free from all debt
- saving money for retirement/401K/pension
- working for a “stable” company
- the economy
- the government
- my job
- feeling loved
- having insurance
- living in a certain house or neighborhood or section of town
- schooling my children the way I think is best
- my own personal convictions
- having another child
- my loved one becoming a believer in Christ
- having lots of money
- being married
- my husband doing what I want him to do
It is VERY easy for us to set up idols in our hearts, things that we hold more dear to us than Jesus, things that we depend on for security and to feel “safe.” If I put something above God in my heart – I am breaking the first commandment in the 10 commandments, and the one that Jesus said is the greatest commandment. This is HUGE, HUGE sin. And we are almost all very guilty of having many idols. Our hearts are “idol factories.” It is a constant issue to monitor our motives and to keep Christ as Lord, and nothing else. I am SO prone to wander from my Lord. 🙁
God is more than able to provide for His people every moment of every day. He alone is the source of all the good things we have – financially, spiritually and in every way.
If I face having to lose something that is an idol to me, I get REALLY UPSET, angry and afraid.
What is it that I believe I need to be happy and content in my life?
Spend some serious time thinking about this question.
What would be devastating to me if I were to lose it? To the point that I would lose all hope?
- Is having that thing more important to me than intimacy with Christ?
- Am I willing to sin to try to keep it or get it?
- Do I seek that thing/person for contentment and happiness in my life? I think I can’t be happy without it?
If so – I am definitely dealing with an idol.
Jesus calls us to be content if we have food for today, clothes on our back and Him. He alone brings contentment.
You know – I think about that verse every morning. Everything above having Jesus, food for today and one set of clothes are extras – luxuries. I thank God for all the little and big things every day – like toilet paper, electricity, a car, gasoline, Wal-Mart, our health, our government still being in tact, my husband, my children, our home, our jobs, our church, the Bible and the peace we enjoy today.
When I find myself really upset about not being able to have something, or about losing something – if I cannot be content because of my circumstances, it is time for me to deeply examine my motives and to see if I am putting other things above Christ in my heart as idols. Then I must tear out the idols and cling only to Jesus. He alone brings true contentment. He alone can satisfy. He alone is worthy of all of my worship, adoration, devotion, praise and service.
– Let’s commit to being content with our husband’s and family’s income if our basic needs are being met.
– If our husband is unemployed or underemployed, let’s pray for God to provide just the right job and let’s do our best to show faith in our husbands’ ability to provide.
– As much as possible, let’s thank our husbands for the way they provide for us and not even imply that they need a “better job” or a second job or that we are dissatisfied with our husbands’ income and want to spend more than we can afford.
– Let’s honor the income we have and seek to stick to the budget we have.
– Let’s commit to not trying to pressure our husbands into debt.
– Let’s look at everything we have and all of our money as belonging to God, not us. We are stewards of the resources God gives us. And we will be held accountable for how we use our time, our money, our possessions, our talents and everything we have before God one day. Let’s be responsible and trustworthy in everything for God’s glory.
– Let’s put our faith completely in God alone to provide for our needs – realizing that all that we have comes from Him.
– If we want to give more to the church or to a charity than our husbands, let’s pray for God to work in their hearts and not pressure them to give more than they want to. We can say what we would like to give. Then we can trust God to give them the desire to give according to His will.
– Let’s love people and use things – not use people and love things.
– Let’s savor that our real treasure is in our relationship with Christ and with our husbands and others, not in material things.