(Hebrews 13:5) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
When I was growing up, we were taught to set goals. I still believe that setting goals in our life is a good practice especially when working with young people. Highly successful people are the ones who set high standards and goals for themselves and work hard to achieve success. However, there is a negative side to this philosophy and as I have gotten older and look back over my life, I see that I should have been more content with the things I had in life instead of always spending my time working for what I considered better things. Now I am at a point in my life that I’m not nearly as interested in material things. I think the earlier we learn this lesson in life the better off we will be.
In looking at our text verse this morning, we all know the meaning of covetousness. In Strong’s Concordance it means, “not greedy of filthy lucre”. We are instructed here to not be greedy and be content with such things as we have. Notice how the Apostle Paul described this in his own life. (Philippians 4:11) Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Paul had learned in his life that no matter the circumstances he was content. We must remember that when Paul wrote these words, he was in a Philippian jail and the jails at that time were not like the one’s in our day. Paul and Silas were thrown into a cold, damp, rat infested dungeon with their feet fastened in stocks. In addition, they were probably having to sit in their own feces. Can you imagine being in that situation and being able to write these words, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”?
Instead of sitting there in that prison feeling sorry for themselves, notice what Paul and Silas did. (Acts 16:25) And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
How many days have we been guilty of having a pity party for ourselves because of the situation or circumstances we find ourselves in? Instead of being content, our conversation is only about those things we don’t have and make it seem like if we only had those things then our life would be so much better when the truth is all the material things and successes in life will never satisfy us or make us content.
Our challenge today is to take the situation we find ourselves in and learn therewith to be content. Let’s take the example of Paul and Silas to pray and sing praises unto God. The lost people around us are watching to see how we will react to the circumstances we encounter in life. If you read further in Acts 16, you will see that as a result of Paul and Silas’s testimony the Philippian jailer and his entire family was converted. We’ll be able to see them all one day when we get to heaven all because Paul and Silas learned “in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”.
This is the key to living a life that is filled with peace and contentment.