Guilty confession over here. They say confession is good for the soul. So, let’s get it all out in the open. I believed some lies that were wrapped in truth and taught it to others. Dear Lord forgive me for not stopping it sooner.
Let’s start with how negatively the people in your life are being portrayed in this pic. Isn’t it interesting how the very people teaching positive thinking also teach to have such a negative idea of people in your life? “The five people with whom you spend the most time is who you become.” That is a common quoted school of thought, and there’s much truth to it. However, today’s strive, reach, achieve, get-more thinking implies that we shouldn’t spend time with others that aren’t striving for all of that. There’s a fear that “those people” will hold you back as this cartoon suggests.
My grandma grew up picking cotton, chopping cotton, and raising babies. She was 14 when she married and only completed third grade in school. By some people’s thinking she would not be the right type of person with whom to spend time as she didn’t have a side hustle and didn’t strive for wealth. Granny read her Bible every day and would ask me to help her read some of the more difficult words in it. She was funny, wise, plain-spoken and showed me love. I never really heard her complain about finances although I know she was on an extremely fixed income. She was content.
So, according to the cartoon pic at the top “Be happy with what you have” is negative statement. Wait. What? Being happy with what you have is the definition of contentment.
In many business circles today, we are being taught that we must surround ourselves with like-minded success seekers or we will be held back by the poverty mentality folks. You know, the folks that tell you to be content as if contentment is a dirty word. Ouch, seriously this hurts, because I heard all that and taught it. But, God has convicted my heart. Conviction hurts, but if it causes you to turn away from the worldly concept of “enough is never enough”, then amen.
1 Timothy 6:6-11 “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. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”
CONVICTION! Around this time last year, the Lord convicted my heart. I was goal oriented, ambition driven, seeking the world’s definition of success. I finally listened to the tug on my heart. Today, we have less income but more peace. Society would have you believe that I am not a “big thinker” anymore. The world’s view is that I started listening to others that were trying to hold me back (like the cartoon above). Some well-meaning success-seekers might even suggest that the enemy caused me to stop my pursuit of “financial success.”
The world’s view of success is money, recognition, fame; anything that is all about self. God’s view of success is listed in that scripture above: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. God’s view is all that matters. Some of the best people I know, the ones that make my heart happy, are the people like my cotton-picking granny. No earthly wealth, but Godly love.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. We have to work in order to pay bills. There are several scriptures that refer to working hard. I am in no way condemning hard work. It’s part of life. Granny worked hard in the field. However, our society has starting looking down it’s nose at the manual laborers and thinks that success is about dollars. We are bombarded with messages to start a side-hustle, to leave this lowly job to have a fancier position, to leave anyone who doesn’t want fame and fortune behind.
Who do you want to be? What do you want said at your funeral? She/he was so wealthy. They had fame and fortune and traveled to amazing places. Or, She/he knew the Lord and introduced others to Jesus. Her life was one of service and love.
God has shown me some examples of the service and love people in the last few days. People with little income but extreme joy and love. I want to be like them. Lord, make me into a woman of love, faith, endurance, and godliness. Thank you Lord for the examples that you have been showing me. Thank you for a sense of contentment.