by Josh Lawson
Over the past couple of blog posts we have gone on a journey to discover the lost secret of contentment. In our day and age it truly is a virtue that is rarely sought and even more rarely found. But I believe that contentment is the key to finding true purpose and peace in our financial lives. No amount of possessions or power can ever give you the clarity of heart and mind that contentment can.
Isaiah says it this way in chapter 26 verse 3, “You (God) will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Perfect. Peace. Just imagine what that must feel like!
And that “perfect peace” is only found as we fix our minds on Christ alone and trust Him to be our satisfaction in life. In Him alone can we find our contentment.
We must learn to guard our hearts. Solomon says to his son in chapter 4 of Proverbs, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Solomon has many things to his son, but he says that most important thing he can do is to guard his heart. Other translations say to “watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” In order to sustain a contented heart, we must diligently preserve the purity of our heart.
What this means practically is that we must acknowledge and fight the day to day temptations that will cause us to grow in discontentment.
Let me explain with an example. Several years ago my wife, Jenny, and I were perfectly happy with our house. It was a quaint little place, but it was perfect for our little family. However, within a matter of months, several of our friends began buying or building new homes. We celebrated with them and were happy for their new homes, but it awakened something inside of us. Now we weren’t happy with our house. Now we suddenly NEEDED a new house! We started looking at real estate websites and “window shopping online” for our dream house. We were desperate for our own place to call our own!
But what changed?
Absolutely nothing except suddenly it awakened a need inside of us because we saw what others had. The Bible calls this envy. A quick definition of envy is “a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.” The Bible also calls this one of the seven deadly sins! We can sugar coat it as drive and a “blessing of God,” but at its core it is sin and it is after our hearts.
Guard Your Heart.
Our inboxes are full of emails promising satisfaction in a vacation or new shoes or perfect piece of furniture. Stores scream to come and spend your money on this or that to give yourself a moment of peace and fulfillment.
Guard Your Heart.
Our televisions are full of commercials that scream for our attention and affection. They promise a perfect body, beach-front house, and a beautiful girlfriend all from drinking a specific beer!
Guard Your Heart.
James says it this way, “But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death. Do not be misled, my beloved brethren.”
It is most definitely a fight for your life. But the promise of God is that He will not just give us enough to survive, but He will satisfy the deepest places of our hearts. And when we are satisfied in Him alone, that is the greatest place of peace and purpose our lives will ever have.
About the Author
Josh Lawson serves as the director of Community Restoration (formerly Financial Restoration Ministry) at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas. He is passionate about seeing families set free from the burden of debt and financial stress, so that they are free to walk in the freedom that Christ has for them.
While serving at Antioch Community Church, Josh and his wife Jenny have developed the REALIGN curriculum. During that time the total amount of debt that has been paid off by both class attendees and those receiving financial coaching has been well over $3 Million dollars.