Read: Proverbs 10:22
The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. (NKJV)
We really ought to spend some time redefining success and reevaluating the heavy price that we always pay to achieve the world’s version of it. The ladder to success, achievement and prosperity is littered with the empty lives of those who fiercely climbed to the top only to find stress, dissatisfaction and loneliness when they get there.
I think it would be a very healthy thing for you and I to stop for a moment and ask, “why do I need any more than what I already have? If I didn’t get another raise, promotion, recognition or material thing from this point on, could I be happy?”
According to this proverb, it is what the Lord blesses me with that makes for a rich, full and rewarding life. It is with what I have at this very moment that I am called to be grateful and content. It is my duty to look at my circumstances and, while giving all an out effort to maximize what God has given, find and celebrate the immeasurable and priceless qualities of a divinely ordered life.
You see, we already have everything we need for joy, peace and contentment—if we choose to see it! For instance, Proverbs 17:1 says, “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.” That reminds me of the parable about a man who lived with his wife, two small children, and elderly parents in a tiny hut. He tried to be patient and gracious, but the noise and crowded conditions wore him down.
In desperation, he consulted the village wise man, who asked, “Do you have a rooster?” The man replied. “Yes,” The wise man said, “Keep the rooster in the hut with your family, and come see me again next week.” The next week the man returned and told the wise elder that the living conditions were worse than ever. The rooster was crowing and making a mess of the hut. “Do you have a cow?” asked the wise man. The man nodded fearfully. “Take your cow into the hut as well, and come see me in a week.” Over the next several weeks, the man, on the advice of the village elder, made room for a goat, two dogs, and his brother’s children.
Finally, he could take it no more, and in a fit of anger, he kicked out all the animals and guests, leaving only his wife, children, and his parents. The home became suddenly spacious and quiet, and everyone lived happily ever after.
Joy, peace and contentment are already there—it’s just a matter of perspective. You and I already have a rich and rewarding life—God has made sure of that. We just have to open our eyes. Notice a few other perspective-generating verses:
“Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.” (Proverbs 16:8)
“Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” (Proverbs 15:17)
“It is better to have little with fear of the Lord than to have great treasure with turmoil.” (Proverbs 15:16)
Contentment begins with understanding and appreciating how much you already have. If you have peace and tranquility in your home…if you are living a righteous life…if you have those who love you…even if you don’t have much else, the writer rhetorically asks, “what more do you need?”
And the answer is: Nothing, really—I only need what God wants to add to an already blessed life.
Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame
of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise
and fatherly disposal in every condition.
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:
Take a couple of minutes to offer gratitude to God for what you have. Be specific—and don’t ask for a single thing. You can do that another time. Right now, be thankful—it is one of the highest acts of worship