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The following entry is by Darren Wu. He loves to help people earn more money, save more, grow their money, and give it away to help others. Join him at Money To Bless, and get inspired to grow your net worth by receiving his free monthly net worth update.
It’s such a forward-moving thing, isn’t it? How do we know this?Because time never stands still, even if we want it to.
Perhaps this is why we’re such goal-oriented creatures. We want to get as much stuff done while we’re on this earth.
Always seeking the next “thing” to accomplish. Something to pursue. Something to check off our bucket list.
Can You Relate?
Are any of these “things” on your list?
- saving up for a down payment to buy your dream home
- saving enough money to be able to send the kids to a nice college
- finally paying off the mortgage
- finally paying off your credit card
- securing enough money to retire comfortably
- closing the next business deal
- getting that long-desired promotion
The Common Theme
What seems to be the common theme in all of these pursuits? Well, if you’re like me, then the theme is a belief that goes something like this:
When these things finally happen, then I’ll actually be happy.
But once we actually get them, are we really fulfilled? Or, do we immediately move on to our next pursuit instead? I’ll admit that I tend to fall in the latter category.
So what? What’s the danger in this type of thinking? As I’ve been searching the Scriptures and reflecting on all of this, here are some verses that came to my mind. A lof of our joy seems to be dependent on the fulfillment of a future goal. James 4:13-15 tells us, however, that tomorrow is not promised.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
So as I read those verses, I get the impression that it doesn’t seem wise to depend on a future event to make us happy.
What’s the answer then? I believe it’s this: Contentment. Yes. We should be content with what we have now, while we’re in the midst of pursuing our goals and dreams. Paul talked about this in Philippians 4:11-12.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
So how do we become content? The answer, of course, is that Christ gives us the strength to do this. In the following verse, Philippians 4:13, Paul says,
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
And related to the idea of contentment is having peace and patience. Galatians 5:22-23 reads,
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
I think that these two fruits – peace and patience – will be helpful in having the proper perspective in the pursuit of our goals and dreams. And how do we bear these fruits? John 15:5 gives us the answer.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
To me, this means to stay connected to the Lord. Here are other verses that came to my mind. Psalm 50:14 tells us,
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High.
And later in verse 23 of the same psalm,
He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me.
What can we almost always be thankful for? In 1 Timothy 6:8, Paul says,
If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
And finally, I’m reminded of Matthew 6:33, which tells us,
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
To me, this means to keep my priorities straight.
Now I don’t share all of this as if I’m standing on a pedestal having mastered these commands. It’s quite the opposite, actually. These are reminders to myself.
Lord Jesus, thank you for securing my salvation. Thank you for providing me with food and shelter. Help me to be content in the midst of my pursuits, and help me to stay connected to you. Help me to keep Your kingdom my top priority, trusting that You’ll take care of all my needs. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.