So before I start this week, I need to mention that whole May 21st end of the world thing. I want you all to know that not all Christians were on board with that group. In fact, most of us were completely against it. Matthew 24:36 makes it pretty clear that not even Jesus himself knows when the end will come. So how could we, messed up sinners, presume to know if the Son of God doesn’t even know? But I do want to extend grace and hope to those who did think May 21st was the end. Come back to Jesus. Come back to what the Bible really teaches and not some “secret code” that you think the Bible has. Jesus’ grace is great enough even for misinformed people.
Anyways, this week I thought I would talk about something that has been bothering me lately. It seems more and more people are busy marching along in life, not knowing the dangerous path we are all on. It is the slippery slope of “more”. Our world has become a world of bigger, better, and faster. No matter what culture you live in, the driving force behind it is this idea of getting more. It could be more money, more friends, more happiness, more experience, more knowledge or more anything.
But is this a good thing? Is this drive for more and more really something that is making our lives and those around us better? I am afraid that in our pursuit of “more” we have forgotten two very important words: gratefulness and contentment. Think about it. Nowadays do we talk about someone in a complementary way using those two words? Usually they are used in a negative sense. “He just seems to be content with his life,” is used rather than, “Wow, he is so content with his life!” For some reason we have associated contentment with laziness and lack of ambition.
And this is the lie of “more.” Satan and the world wants us to believe that true joy and life is just barely out of our reach. If we just have a little more (insert whatever you think you need more of) we will have joy and meaning in life. So we keep trying to get more of whatever that thing is but the more we get the more we want! The danger is even when we get what we thought we wanted, we are still left wanting more. It seems to be a never ending cycle.
That’s why I have started to wonder if gratefulness is dead. I had just finished teaching some students and was walking to another lesson earlier this week. Teaching English is often frustrating because the main reason students want to learn English is to get a higher paying job so they can buy more pleasures. As I was walking, I saw a man on a cart who had no legs and was rolling down the street.
That’s when it hit me. All week I had been hearing people with different life problems but very little gratefulness. I heard lots of complaining and worrying but not much contentment. How many of you are grateful you have two working legs? How about two working eyes? Clothes? Three meals a day? Friends? The Internet? How many little things do you take for granted everyday that others would love to have? Look at your life. I can honestly tell you that if you are able to dress yourself each morning and walk to work you are amazingly blessed! Yet instead of being grateful for these blessings we seem to forget how much we really have and complain about minor inconveniences.
The saddest part is that we are so ungrateful for the most amazing gift ever. Yes it is an amazing gift of God that you have good health, enough money to live on and loving friends and family. But all of that is nothing compared to the fact that the only Son of God died for you. A perfect man suffering a terrible death for ungrateful sinners. And instead of being satisfied and content with Jesus we think we need more of what the world offers in order to be happy.
But there is hope. The Bible teaches that the answer to the trap of more is contentment and gratefulness. “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5). God is enough. Actually God is not just enough, He’s more than enough! You don’t need God and money, God and a good job or God and a spouse. While money, job and spouse are all good things on their own they are not God. True contentment in life can only be found in Jesus Christ.
And that’s what I hope you all do this week. I do want you to find more, but not more of what the world has to offer. My prayer for you all this week is that you would find more of Jesus. That you would love, honor, serve and glorify God more. That you would find your hope and joy not in more stuff but in more Jesus. That you would all realize that God is more than enough for you and that true joy, gratefulness and contentment in life are only found in Him.
May we be like Paul in our outlook on life: “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13). May we stop seeking more fleeting pleasures and instead seek to know the risen Son of God. May we realize that Jesus Christ is truly more than enough.