July 22 – $ – Contentment

Read 1 Timothy 6:6-12

Currency is a made-up concept. Seriously, think about it…somewhere along the way we decided that we needed to record value with something. We developed currency as that system. It has since developed to where the majority of our monetary worth is recorded electronically as something we can’t physically touch. These electronic records have seen plenty of mockery throughout the past year with “meme stocks” like AMC, GameStop, and Blackberry soaring in the markets from keyboard jockeys pumping their value. Possibly more laughable is the cryptocurrency Dogecoin which was started as a joke to point out that currency is entirely made up.

However, as farcical as currency becomes, it is vital to living in a society. It provides everyday needs, it provides sustenance and it provides fun along the way. Without the right mindset, we can quickly fall in love. But this kind of love is a one-way street; money doesn’t love us and we spiral into a void that sucks us in like an addiction. In our reading today, Paul goes so far as to say that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. I recently read an article about an heir to the Disney fortune saying that some wealthy people “would rather be shot than fly first class,” explaining that private is superior to airline terminals. She went on to compare aspiration of wealth to an addiction that is always just out of reach.

It doesn’t matter how much your bank account reads, everyone can fall into the trap of wanting to reach the next level. I remember, when I was first out of college, that my little paycheck felt like a lot of money. That feeling quickly faded. Then I worked in the financial industry and my earnings increased, yet I assumed happiness would come with the next bonus or increase. We all know that money doesn’t buy happiness but, for some reason, our heart’s emotion tells us differently. This all stems from contentment…we have to find contentment in life which wells up from gratitude. Paul writes that we should flee from such a love of money and pursue a more grateful and loving life.

Every night, when I put my kids to bed ,I ask them what they are thankful for. I want them to realize that, while there is always something else out there, everyday has something to be thankful for. So, let me ask you, what are you thankful for today? Are you pursuing gratitude, contentment, and righteousness? Or are you striving for the next rung which will “surely” make you happy?

Jeff Walter

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