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Real Contentment

Man frequently thinks that IF only he were rich and famous he would finally be content. Too often we look with envy at those who are celebrities, thinking how much better our own lives would be if that were us. Becoming rich and famous does not guarantee contentment. If it did, multimillionaire athletes would not jeopardize their careers by turning to drugs. If it did, the occurrence of multiple marriages among celebrities would not be commonplace. Obviously, real contentment must come from a foundation other than money and fame.

In Ecclesiastes 5, Solomon said we shouldn't be surprised when the poor are oppressed and when justice and righteousness are denied (vss. 8-9). His words sound as if they were written in 2010, instead of so many years ago. "If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. (9) The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields."

The life of those who love money is not as glamorous as it seems. They are never satisfied with what they have, and they face the emptiness of watching other people consume their riches (vss.10-11). Again this sounds like it was written to our society. "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. (11) As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?"

The modest laborer, content with what he has, can sleep soundly, while the rich man lies awake at night worrying about his money (vs. 12). "The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep." These indeed are great words of wisdom that all of us today need to take to heart.

How about you? Are you frustrated or content?

Paul told Timothy to tell the rich that they are "not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy" (1 Timothy 6:17). Only when we trust in the Lord and follow Him will we find what we are looking for.

— via The Lilbourn Light, Lilbourn, Missouri