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Need and Greed

August 10th, 2009

“Be satisfied with what you have.” Hebrews 13.5

“The most important things in life are not things.”

My thoughts today are about the “need and greed.”

When is enough, enough? It is important that you answer that for yourself honestly and accurately to counteract a latent insecurity and subtle greed deep inside that conflicts with any pursuit of contentment. Insecurity whispers that you need enough, and then defines that as more than what is actually “enough.”

And then, even when you do acquire “enough” resource and stuff, greed suggests that a little more never hurts and persuades that you have earned the extra. So you are caught up in a vicious cycle of trying to have enough while always wanting more, working to be secure then rewarding yourself with more.

And what is the result of that? A quest for more steals much of the joy for what you have, and dampens your thankfulness for what you have been given. Striving to accumulate and store more becomes an insufficient goal for life and is ultimately exhausting.

Such an inadequate, material goal only distracts your heart from seeking true wealth, which is spiritual as well as material. Jesus said, “Collect for yourselves treasures in Heaven . . for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:20-21. Better to have the best of what lasts, than simply more of what’s merely good for now.

“Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.” Epicurus. Solomon, the richest and wisest of men, learned “A man’s eyes are never satisfied.” Proverbs 27:20. More seems never enough! A dear friend, Campbell McAlpine, advised me years ago “the heart cannot desire what the eye has not seen.” Be selective about what holds your gaze too long, lest it fills your vision and captures your desire.

And what is the personal reward of having enough? Contentment. Sufficiency. Satisfaction. Freedom from the tyranny for more. Things that money cannot buy. Godliness with contentment is a great gain.” 1 Timothy 6: 6-11.  I read a sign today that said, “The most important things in life are not things.” God offers you a greater return, and much more enduring, than the biggest bull market on Wall Street.

“For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content through Him Who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13. It is never your circumstance or your possessions that give you true security and contentment. Those are found only in God.

My prayer for you today is that you will trust God, your only true Source of sufficiency.

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