Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Journy to Contentment - Part 4

I began a series ages ago about contentment... and my intention was to write every Tuesday about my personal journey to contentment (which is certainly not over!) and I sort of wanted to keep that going.

My last post was about offering a humble heart before God as a means to contentment. Today I want to address Greed.

"Discontentment makes rich men poor 
while contentment makes poor men rich." 
Benjamin Franklin

Take a moment to think about everything that you have: All of your possessions: house, furniture, decorations, knick knacks, car, money, clothing...Family: husband, children, parents, siblings...Other Relationships: Church family, elders, friends...

Now realize that none of it actually belongs to you!! It all belongs to God and he is gracious enough to loan it to you. 

With that kind of thinking the next logical thing to realize is that because everything we have has been graciously lent to us, what right do we have to complain and covet about what we do not have!?

And yet, how often in my life do I covet what another has. How often do I become discontent with my house, clothing, car, relationships etc. as though I actually deserved better than what I have! How often do I get those overwhelming "urges" to just go to Walmart or Frenchies not because I truly need something but just because I want something...something...Not sure what it is that I want, but I just know I want something.

Linda Dillow in her book Calm my Anxious Heart reminds us that our Heart Attitude is the issue. She quotes this scripture:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, 
where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21
"Ask yourself: Where is my treasure? Where is my heart? Simple questions, yet the answers define who you are and what you are living for...You can quickly identify where your heart is if you will survey the things you own and answer this question: Suppose this treasure were lost, destroyed, or stolen tomorrow. Would I miss it to the point that it would harm my trust in God, my contentment, or my relationships? If the answer is Yes, then your treasure is on earth."
{Side note: During Family worship last evening, I was reminded that our treasure should be Christ and His Word! It is worth far more than silver or gold or jewels.}

I really love this book and enjoyed it so much when we read through it together at our monthly Ladies Fellowship Meetings. In this chapter on greed Dillow gives several practical strategies for rooting out greed in your own life. Here is one that really stuck out to me.

"Cut the Ropes"
Greed is like a large weight attached to you by a rope. Look around your house and ask God to show you where to cut the ropes. 
                 Are there certain items that you tend to cling to or are just simply never contented with? 
                               Give them away! 
                 Are there catalogs or fliers that cause you to covet? 
                               Throw them out!
                 Are there certain friends that give you the greedies?? 
                                Stay away from them! 
                                (Or pray a lot before visiting them if staying away is not an option)

As Matthew 18:8 says "And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire."

A personal area that I always seem to be discontented with is my clothing! I have drawers and a closet stuffed full and yet can never seem to find anything to wear! And I always want to buy more! So my goal this week (after I return from a visit with my Mom, Sister, Brother-in-law, and Brand New Nephew!!) is to go through all of my clothing and give most of them away... And pray that God will make me content with what I have.

Do you have a rope to cut? or perhaps one you have cut in the past? May the Lord continue to convict our hearts of these things. This world is not our home.

No comments: