Focal passage: Philippians 4:10-20
My nephew always wants a new game. He is six years old, after all. He’s learning new skills each time he plays, and he has fun doing it. He loves to show his family and friends the levels that he’s mastered, and he is always thinking about what game could be next. I love his wonder and his zeal.
Sometimes, however, his wanting can be a little much. I can perceive his anxiety as he stumbles over his words, begging so hastily, all the while fearful that his desire will not be met. No one in his life is seeking to keep good things from him, but he is still often consumed by the thought that they might be. He’s so anxious for a new game that he forgets to enjoy the ones that he already has. I smile when I think about him, but then I realize what a mirror of my heart toward God he is.
In our lives, there are plenty of matters to be concerned with, many of them involving money or provision. Paul reminds the Philippian church of how they cared for him when he was in need. He also reminds them that, in his need, God taught him contentment. Paul’s secret to contentment was not a better business plan, but the understanding that God would always give him the strength to endure in any circumstance.
There is nothing wrong with wanting material things or wanting our needs to be met. In fact, God wants us to be productive and to be able to provide for ourselves and our families. However, when we are controlled by these desires, we are in danger of the sin of idolatry. If we’re not careful, we can fall into the trap of being controlled by money or the desire for it. When we find ourselves constantly consumed with thoughts of having more, it is wise to reassess the motives in our hearts. Our security comes from a loving Father who is willing and able to provide. In Him we find joy and contentment.