Tag Archives: Better

What I Really Need More of: Contentment

Double big gulp
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied,
    so human desire is never satisfied.
Proverbs 27:20 (NLT)

When I was a kid growing up in Des Moines, the local DX gas station just a few blocks from our house was converted into a 7-11 store. I would ride my bike to the 7-11 to purchase pop and candy. I remember when the “Big Gulp” made its debut. Pop came in small, medium, large and then they introduced the 32 oz grand-daddy of them all. I loved getting my Big Gulp and showing my bicycling prowess by riding hands-free back home while holding my ginormous drink.

Go into a 7-11 today and I find that the Big Gulp is now the smallest option. You can get the Super Big Gulp or the Double Big Gulp. What a great word picture for where we are as a culture.

I find that contentment is both elusive and ignored in our society. You will hear precious few sermons about contentment from pulpits on Sunday. Even our churches are driven by the “bigger is better” paradigm in this age of “Mega-churches.” Our economic system is based on lack of contentment driving non-stop desire which drives the market with consumers wanting more, better, faster, cooler, and bigger. Bigger is better. More is better. You can never have enough.

As a result I find myself overfed, overstimulated, oversold, overstressed, over scheduled, inundated, and indebted. The merry-go-round is spinning out of control and I am in desperate need to get off.

Extracting ourselves from the spinning, out-of-control ride of life begins with a pesky little character quality called contentment.

Chapter-a-Day James 3

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 14:  Guests to the White ...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. James 3:17 (NLT)

It is said that good things come in small packages, and the further I proceed into the journey the more I find both truth and wisdom in the saying.

In our consumerist culture we fall easy prey to a mindset that “more is better” and “bigger is better.” The sentiment trickles into the homes we live in, the cars we drive, and even into our worship and our churches.

Big=success
Excess=success

I’ve watched speakers and preachers who fall into the same trap. If one point is good then three points are better. If one illustration is good, then five illustrations will nail it.

Things are different in the economy of God’s Kingdom. Despite what you may have heard from televangelists and public icons made by the Christian marketing machine, Kingdom economics run upstream from popular thought. In Kingdom economics less is more. The last is first. Giving is better than getting. The humble are exalted. Contentment is profitable.

In today’s chapter I found one little verse that sums up the entirety of who I want God to mold me to be. Such a good and powerful thing in a few simple words.

Good things come in small packages.

After all, salvation came in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.