This Sunday, July 30th, 2017, Pastor Duane White ended our Timeless Ten series here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.
Timeless Ten: Finding Contentment
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor,” (Exodus 20:17, NIV).
What is Contentment? Contentment is defined as the state of being satisfied; or ease of mind.
Biblically you could say that contentment is the state of trusting what God has, and will, give you everything that you need, exactly when you need it; to fulfill His purposes over your life.
The opposite of contentment is coveting. What is coveting? Coveting is to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others; to have an inordinate or wrongful desire.
Biblically, coveting can be seen as two things:
- Craving something that is not rightfully yours.
- Looking at what God has given to someone else, and believing He should have given it to you.
It is ultimately setting yourself up as God. It’s saying, “I know what I should have and when I should have it better than Daddy God does.”
Coveting, however, is like drinking salt water, the more you drink, the thirstier you become. God is not opposed to possessions, He is opposed to the worship of them.
Jesus talked a lot about money. Why? It may be because it is so important? No, it’s least important, but if you get it right, everything that really matters is easy. When you get it wrong, you will surely stumble over the big stuff.
Coveting is the motive behind why we break all the other commandments. We lie, steal, commit adultery and so on because we want what we don’t or can’t have.
Are you content? Most people are not.
Here are a few principles to finding true contentment in this crazy western world that is always craving more and shoving that craving down our throats:
- Have an attitude of gratitude, for what you already have.
- Recognize the limitations of wealth.
- Focus on people, not possessions.
- Be a giver.
- Find fulfillment in Jesus
- Look at the big “E”. Live in the light of eternity.
Being thankful for what I have now is the beginning point of finding contentment. We can’t trivialize God’s blessings down to material possessions, but we should be thankful for the things God gives us.
The problem with Discontentment is that it leaves us living in the someday syndrome. Someday I will be happy. Someday I will have joy. Someday I will be at peace.
The someday syndrome thinks of life in terms of when and then. When I get a bigger house, then I’ll be happy. When I get married, then I won’t be lonely. When I have kids, then I will be fulfilled. When I get a new job, or a promotion, then I won’t have any stress or worry in my life.
We have to get out of the when and then thinking and get into the here and now thinking. I am here, and I am thankful for what I have now.
We can be content and have goals and ambition. Don’t let things have you. Contentment is not about the balance in your bank account, but the balance in your heart.
Don’t value money for more than it’s worth. The Bible says, those who love money, never have enough. We must keep a proper perspective on money. True contentment is not found in having everything we want, but in not wanting to have everything.
If money and wealth could buy you happiness, the worlds richest people would be the happiest people, but we all know that is not the case at all. True security must be found in something that cannot be taken away. True security is only found in Jesus.
When we covet things, we prioritize possessions over people. We spend more than we have, and buy more than we can pay for, and then the stress of it all causes us to lose the real treasure right in front of us. Relationships are the greatest asset you have, and you can’t buy real relationships.
Some people try to buy their kids rather than relate to them. They try to over compensate for be absent by buying them extravagant gifts. It may seem to work on the surface, but ultimately, it does not. Your kids need your presence, not your presents.
Love people and use things, or else you are in danger of loving things and using people.
Giving is the antidote to coveting. Generosity breaks the back of coveting. Especially giving to those we think have more than us. He is enough. When you begin to remember that Jesus is enough, you won’t want other peoples stuff.
Heaven is real. You are not in the land of the living going to the place of the dying, you are in the land of the dying going to the place of the living, and this life is simply training for reigning in that life.
Here are some eternal things:
- 1. Words.
- People. We are not natural being having a temporary spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a temporary natural experience.
- Relationships. Not every relationship in this life will last all of this life, but your investment in it can be eternal.
- Giving. Money is not eternal, but your giving is.
“While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal,” (2 Corinthians 4:18, NKJV).
Watch the full message here: