Saturday, July 20, 2013

It's Time for Being Content

With the daily news of our continuing economic struggle in the USA and throughout the world, I can’t help but reflect upon Saint Paul’s wisdom. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content,” (1 Timothy 6.7-8) “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13.5) “Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord's freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ's slave. (1 Corinthians 7.21-22) Could Saint Paul’s wisdom help us with our current economic crisis?

By listening to the nightly news you might suspect human beings NEVER lived without electricity, running water, private toilets, and twinkies. In fact people STILL live without these so-called necessities all over the world EVERYDAY…and they survive! Our daily comforts are not without toil, nor are they without spiritual risk. If these daily comforts continue to become the focus of our emotional energy, we run the risk of forgetting that we “can carry nothing out” of this life.

It’s about time we refocus our nation’s energies on our relationship with God. And I’m not just talking about same-sex marriage and abortion. These sins are mere symptoms of a society that has forgotten that God is God and human beings are created. We are created in the image of God, another fact most of us have forgotten. If we could only get past ourselves enough to see God waiting with His arms open, maybe we could return to a life dedicated to putting God first in our lives.

Putting God first doesn’t just mean calling ourselves Christians. It means having enough faith in Him to be content with the resources we have and not be concerned with our status as slaves. The only slavery we must fight is the slavery to sin that we each voluntarily embrace because it makes us feel good….that is until the economy comes crumbling down around us. THEN we wonder why God is punishing us. THEN we question whether we could believe in “a god” that doesn’t allow us to enjoy all the creature comforts our flesh desires.

It’s no wonder Jesus Christ called us to a life of asceticism when He said, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 8.34) We cannot follow Christ worrying about our own desires. The centurion had it right when said, “"Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof.” (Matthew 8.8) Now THAT’S being content!

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