Speaking of Life Script 4044 | The Investment of Contentment
They were known as the Roaring 20s in American history. It was a time of unprecedented prosperity. Unemployment rates were nearly non-existent, loan rates were unbelievably low, and the American economy seemed unstoppable. This seemingly unending dream of financial prosperity would soon be replaced by the nightmare event that ushered in the Great Depression – the stock market crash of 1929.
Looking back on this tragic time, economists point to several factors that contributed to the worst financial collapse in modern history – but it seemed the most common denominator was greed.
With stocks at an all-time high, much of the middle class decided they wanted in on the action. What had previously been the domain of the super-wealthy was now open to anyone interested. Some families borrowed money from banks to purchase stocks, having been assured the market would continue rising “to the moon.” Then as the market value began to freefall, banks began calling in those loans and thousands of families lost everything. The same families who would have been fine if it hadn’t been for greed.
Contentment seems to be a concept that is foreign to the world that we are living in. The pervasive message that is continually pitched to us is that “more is better.”
The allure of riches followed by the consequences of greed has plagued every civilization – including those in the first century. The apostle Paul issued some stern warnings to all followers of Christ regarding the issue of chasing after wealth at the expense of your spiritual well-being. In his first letter to Timothy, he writes:
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.
1 Timothy 6:6-10
Someone once said, there are two tents: content and discontent. It is up to you which one you live in. Living in discontentment is a life where your thirst for more will never be quenched. Paul warns us to guard against this as the consequences of living this way are ultimately destructive and tragic.
On the flip side, a life of contentment helps you distinguish between wants and needs. When you are content, you are in a state of gratitude. Your focus is on what you have and not on what you wish you had.
Let us not get fooled into thinking that we are missing out on something. We have Christ. In Christ, we have been given everything needed for life and Godliness. With hearts of gratitude, we look to Jesus, who richly supplies all our needs, not our greed.
May Jesus help us be the church that ushers in the Great Contentment.
I’m Jeff Broadnax, Speaking of Life.