15 Jan Are you content with what you have?
I remember several years ago when I tucked then my two-year-old into bed. After reading a book and saying our prayer, I placed a sippy cup of water by her bed. My daughter who knew how to bargain with me and was growing more daring each day asked, “Mama, can I have coke?” Stifling my laughter, I handed her water.
She took a sip. “Mama, can I have juice?” She bravely asked, handing the cup back to me as she worked her way down the list of preferred beverages.
Out of options, she accepted the water.
“He is richest who is content with least,” said Socrates. Am I content with little? The basics? Water is purest, simplest. Healthiest. Those who can appreciate the “water” of their lives are rich.
It is true that I am most content when I recognize the goodness of what I have instead of longing for something I don’t have. Even so, sometimes I get pangs of jealousy as I covet things I see other people enjoying. Don’t we all do this?
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be indeed, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:11-12).
Paul’s phrase “learned the secret” tells us contentment does not just happen, but rather it’s a learned attitude. Our path to happiness and fulfillment is not the one through the land of consumerism, material wealth, and full bellies, but rather the lesser known road of acceptance and appreciation.
How about you? Are you able to find contentment in your scarcity?