Ever suffered from comparison fatigue? Comparison fatigue sets in when you are constantly comparing yourself to others. We see the possessions other people have. We see the experiences other people have. We see the character other people possess. We see all that, look at ourselves, and conclude we don’t measure up. Contentment breaks out when we stop looking at life as competition and everybody else as competitors.
“A thousand voices clamor for our attention, and a thousand causes vie for our support. But until we have learned to be satisfied with fellowship with God, until He is our rock and fortress, we will be restless with our place in the world.”
— Erwin Lutzer
Last week I read the following information about possessions and contentment.
“On a scale of 1 – 7, with 1 being miserable and 7 highly contented, America’s 400 richest individuals rated 5.8 – and so did Kenya’s cattle raising Masai tribespeople and Greenland’s arctic dwelling Inuit population (formerly known as Eskimos). ‘Proving what?’ asks The Wall Street Journal. Simply this, that while some money relieves the burdens of dire poverty, beyond that it is less important in generating happiness than such factors as ‘social relationships, enjoyable work, fulfillment and a sense that life has meaning.'”(I’m sorry I cannot remember the original source).
These are good thoughts to keep in mind as we are bombarded with images and suggestions that we need more and more during the holiday season in order to find true happiness.
As we shop, we need to keep in mind God’s warnings about greed and His promises about contentment.
“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5 NLT).
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV).
Simply put, greed is idolatry. Our contentment is not grounded in possessions, but in the presence of God in our lives.
Jesus. God has come in the flesh.