A Household Income survey by Statistics New Zealand in 2012 showed that 14% of New Zealand households with an annual income of $156,000 or more, indicated that their income was only just enough to meet their everyday needs, and a further 5% of households said it was not enough.

“But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment”
(1 Timothy 6:6).

Contentment, contrary to popular opinion, is not being satisfied with what you have. It is knowing God’s plan for your life, having the conviction to live it, and believing that God’s peace is greater than the world’s problems.

We get trapped into a discontented life by adopting worldly goals. These goals always boil down to more…bigger…best. Scripture defines them as indulgence, greed, and pride. In our society it is not normal to “step down.” Once a certain level of income (or spending) has been attained, it is considered a failure to step down. Is the concept of conservation and moderation really a loser’s attitude? Not according to biblical standards.

God’s Plan for Contentment

Although many Scriptures teach about the dangers of material riches, they do not teach that poverty is the alternative. God wants us to understand that money is a tool to use in accomplishing His plan through us. To find true contentment, some basic guidelines must be established.

Since there is no universal plan that is suitable for everyone, this must be a standard established among husband, wife, and God. Just having an abundance of wealth is not a sign of God’s blessings.

Every Christian family should be directly involved with the needs of another family. There are many Christian organisations that act as a funnel for such funds. If you can’t be personally involved, this is the best alternative.

Many Christians are discontented, not because they aren’t doing well but because others are doing better. Too often we let the urgent things take priority over the important things.

Thankfulness is a state of mind, not an accumulation of assets. Until we can truly thank God for what we have and be willing to accept that as God’s provision for our lives, contentment never will be possible.

We can get trapped into hoarding or saving excessively because we fear the “What if?” of retirement, disability, unemployment, or economic collapse. Obviously, God wants us to consider these things and even plan for them, within reason. But it is a problem when fear dictates to the point

that giving to God’s work is hindered and worry becomes the norm rather than the exception.

In Conclusion

Finding contentment is the solution to reversing the growing debt levels in our society and the discontent with all that we have. Contentment does not mean complacency or living according to strict rules. Contentment instead requires a personal relationship with God and finding His plan for our lives.

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Peter Crawford

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