Costumes, Turkeys and Reindeer
But godliness with contentment is great gain.--I Timothy 6:6
It's that time of year where the next three holidays are displayed all at the same in stores. Within minutes, I've walked by pretty pink costumes, salt and pepper turkey shakers, and then a glowing reindeer decoration. It's like stores have turned into a three-ring circus. Nobody can seem to wait to celebrate each holiday in it's due course and so all three must crowd the stage. What was a normal way of segueing from Halloween to Thanksgiving followed by Christmas has now morphed into this confused season where all three holidays no longer seem to have much distinction. It's sort of like there is no longer any timeline. You basically get to pick and choose from the smorgasbord of upcoming holiday themes and decorations. And if you want all three...why not? As they say...the more the merrier!
In times like these, there is an eternal source of truth that is solid and unwavering. It provides direction and meaning and purpose in a world that seems to have lost it's footing. It gives answers to people's questions, uncovers lies, and exposes half-baked truths. The only constant rock that is stable and secure in every storm of life is the unchanging Bible, the Holy Word of God sent to all mankind. It continually points us to a way of living that is in stark contrast to a culture that's lost it's way.
In his first epistle to Timothy, Paul encourages us to lay aside jealousy, disagreements, assumptions, arguments, and greed and take on a new lifestyle: godliness. But not just
godliness. While that may appear to be enough...we need to add one more thing. Make sure that you don't forget..."contentment which is great gain." The rewards of walking close to Christ and finding our complete fullness in Him is a radical way of thinking. We need to be on our guard against all our earthly possessions that inherently have the potential to crowd our thoughts and lives and burden our hearts with unnecessary weight. In the light of eternity, everything in this world has a brief shelf life. "For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be content with that. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
When the world screams from every corner, "More!", a Christian can whisper, "I have all that I really need."
Prayer for today:
Gracious Father in Heaven: In a world that demands that I must have the latest tech gadget, fashion accessory, or shiny new household item in order to be happy, may I choose to walk in close communion with you and with a heart that is grateful that You supply my daily needs. Help me not to search for joy and peace by accumulating things or pursuing greed. That will simply lead to heartache and a lack of trust in your providence. Teach me to be in tune with Your will--following the steady beat of your kind and good and loving heart. For it's in Jesus' name I ask this, Amen.