August 29, 2009
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
My wife asked me to pick up some necessities at the grocery store yesterday.
As I waited in line, I observed the lady in front of me. She was doing her best to referee a battle royal between two children who appeared to be about three and four years old.
Seeing my amused smile -- amused because I was remembering those times when our children had such public disagreements -- she looked at me, rolled her eyes toward heaven, and gave out a most frustrated sigh.
Her opening made me bold enough to ask, "What seems to be the problem?"
She answered: "The same thing that's wrong with the rest of the world. I've got three pieces of candy in my purse, and each of my children wants two."
The truth of her words didn't give me a whole lot of comfort. She was right.
Nations, communities, individuals -- all want what's coming to them -- and they want a little bit extra, too.
How hard it is to learn to be content.
I confess that's a lesson I haven't quite mastered yet. How about you? You know, if we're ever going to get better as individuals, or as a race, we're going to have to get some outside assistance.
Obviously, we can't get it from another individual. Everybody else is in the same boat we are.
This is why we need to be turned to God. That's what the author of Hebrews did. Knowing he was living in the presence and care of a gracious God and victorious Savior, he was inspired to encourage God's people to "keep your life free from love of money and be content with what you have."
It's impossible without the Lord, but it's the right direction to go when you love and are loved by the Savior who endured so much that we might be forgiven and be at peace.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, sometimes it's tempting to find contentment through things or other people. Please help me remember the only way to be given true contentment comes from trusting Your love and guidance. This I ask in the Name of my Savior who died so I might live -- who rose that I might never die. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries