I did not purchase my first cell phone until 1999. I did not get a computer until 2000. I have never owned a tablet, I Phone, X Box, fancy television or nice sound system. We have the basic satellite television package (which gives us about 25 channels). We have two vehicles; one is a 2002 car with nearly 200,000 miles on it and the other is a 2002 mini-van with nearly 175,000 miles on it.
I tell you all these things to make a point, which is that a person does not need everything the world produces in order to be content. Commercials tell us that we must have a hot new car or truck to be happy. Commercials tell us that we must have 97 movie channels and 8760 total channels on our televisions to be happy. Commercials tell us that we must rush to the store to get every new technological toy that comes out or we will be miserable.
The constant bombardment we face in the realm of advertising has brainwashed us into thinking that we must have “things” to be content. We must live in a big new house to be happy. We must drive the latest SUV to be safe. We must have a phone that makes your breakfast to be “with it”. We simply must have all these things or we will be miserable, lonely and a social outcast.
What the world emphatically says we need to be happy is many times totally opposite to what God says is necessary to be content. In fact, God says that having food, clothing and a roof over our heads, we should be the most peaceful and inwardly contented people on earth. So who is right, the world armed with all its advertising or God armed with His Word?
Contentment is an inside matter of the heart and mind and not the outward things that makes us happy. All the toys this world offers cannot bring peace to a person’s heart or meaning to their life. Having a nice home, nice vehicles, nice clothes and nice “stuff” does not make you a nice person. In fact, many times a person radically changes to project an image commensurate with the life they live.
When I was a kid, the only things I had to play with were a basketball, a baseball mitt and an ancient putter my dad gave me along with a vivid imagination. I could spend hours pretending I was playing in the Masters Golf Tournament, winning the NCAA basketball title or hitting the home run that won the World Series. Back then I was considered normal but today I would have been hauled to therapy.
The Bible says that Godliness with contentment is Great Gain. In other words, if we have a real, true and vital spiritual relationship with God, we are the richest people in the world for we have God’s approval and live in His blessings.