Hold Your Blessings with an Open Hand
"There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it." (1 Timothy 6:6-7 NRSV)
God is more interested in your character than your comfort. He's not going to give you things if you haven't learned the principle of contentment first.
Contentment is not a lack of ambition. It's not a lack of goals. Contentment means your happiness doesn't depend on your circumstances.
How do you eliminate discontent? You eliminate the cause: comparing. We compare everything in this country - lawns, cars, husbands and wives, clothes, the education of our kids (we even put "My kid was Student of the Month" on car bumpers).
Whenever you compare, you're going to become discontent. You've got to learn to stop comparing yourself to others.
Paul says in Philippians 4:12, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation" (NIV). Contentment does not come naturally; it is something you have to learn. If we do this, God promises to meet all our financial needs.
The Bible says, "There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it" (1 Timothy 6:6-7 NRSV).
One of the greatest secrets in learning to be content is to realize that you don't really own anything. It's all on loan to you for about 80 years! You didn't bring a single thing into this world, and you're not going to carry anything out of it, either. You just get to use it while you're here on Earth. The Bible calls that stewardship. You are the manager or steward of what God allows you to have while you're here, but it's not really yours. When you understand that you're just a manager of the blessings God allows in your life and you hold them with an open hand, you won't be uptight about losing them.
So what if you lose things? God can turn off one faucet and turn on another just as easily. Learn to be content, because things don't last. God is more interested in your character than your comfort.
Talk It Over
What does it mean practically to hold God's blessings with an open hand?
- Make it a goal today to be conscious of the ways you compare yourself to others. What do you need to do when you're tempted to compare?