We all know the drill when someone is serving us food. They begin pouring or scooping and pronounce, “Say when!” It then becomes our responsibility to declare “when” they have apportioned enough to satisfy our anticipated desires. Unfortunately, we in America seem to have difficulty saying that word, “when.” My old economics teacher said, “Man’s wants are insatiable but his ability to fulfill those desires is finite.” No more do we see that than in our country. Boy! Do we have it made or what? We have multiple houses, cars, computers and clothes – nothing seems to be in short supply. I myself have over 200 shirts and 30 or so, pair of jeans. God has certainly blessed us to overflowing, and yet, we still strive desperately for more, until we are “tripping” over our abundance.
As a result, stress abounds in our lives. 33 million dollars a year are spent on aspirin. 9.4 billion on stress reduction. 60-90% of all doctor visits are stress related. A Google search will produce over 56 million websites regarding anxiety, quite a hefty price to pay for being blessed. Another teacher told me in 1974 that so many innovations were on the horizon to aid mankind that future generations would be going to a 30-hour work week with more leisure time available. OOPS! Do we have enough? It doesn’t matter, we want more.
No wonder Christ had so much to say on the subject in Matthew 6:19-20. His encouragement is to, “not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” He advises us to not be worried about material things, God should come first. Verse 33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” We need to put first things first. And yes, even we Christians lose focus on the main goal.
Paul had it in perspective when he wrote to the Philippians in 4:11-12 “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
Paul says he’ll take it as it comes. He understands how to keep the main thing, the main thing. God first, and the rest will be taken care of. What was Paul’s secret? That one of the overwhelming trademarks of the mature Christian is to understand that circumstances lose their power over us when we are rooted in Christ and His mission. Paul was rooted and focused, therefore, content.
Are you rooted in the mission of Christ? Then look around and see how much you have. The cup is overflowing.
Say, “When!” Then say, “Thanks Lord! I am content!”