A few years ago I went through a summer Bible study with one of my sons, studying the life of Timothy, Paul’s young apprentice. Reading Paul’s letters to Timothy, the following verse jumped off the page at me: "...if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (I Timothy 6:8, ESV).
This verse is right near the others that say: “We didn’t bring anything into the world and can’t take anything out,” and “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils.”
If you’re like me, this is pretty familiar stuff – maybe too familiar. This time, when I read about being content with food and clothing, the word “really?” came to mind and I started thinking.
Wait, God...What about my house – isn’t shelter important? I do think shelter is important (especially in Minnesota in the winter!) - but is my nice suburban home more shelter than I need to be content?
What about my car – don’t I need that to get to work, to church, and run my kids to all their activities? Do I need that to be content?
What about my relationships? Shouldn’t I be close with my family? What about friends – aren’t relationships with friends important? Do I need those to be content?
What about my church, at least? Isn’t being part of a good church important? Do I need that to be content?
The list could go on, but maybe you get the point. For me, I think I tend to have way too long a list of things I need to be content. Maybe if I had a shorter list more in line with God’s priorities, I might actually find more contentment and peace in my life. Matthew 6:34 encourages us to live day by day, saying that “each day has enough care of its own and tomorrow will take care of itself.”
OK, God, so here’s my prayer: “Help me to be content in depending more on you - moment by moment and day by day – and less on myself, my stuff, my relationships, or anything else other than you. Amen.”