That Fine Line Between Gain And Contentment

gain and contentment

The Bible gives us  some sobering warnings for those who desire to be rich. It is “hard” for those with riches to enter the Kingdom of God. You cannot serve it and God at the same time and the desire of it leads to destruction.

While many of us DO NOT have a desire to be rich, many of us DO have an aspiration or even a need for more. Things may be tight at times and we would surely welcome some more funds.

We are for the most part content but would feel better with a little more cushion and security. 

It is difficult sometimes to determine when enough is enough. Often we take on some extra hours at work, a second job, or begin a side pursuit to bring home more money. For some this works. For others it begins with good intentions and everyone seems to benefit, but then the one working begins to cool off in his walk with Jesus. His wife begins to get overburdened with the kids and time for herself and overall it ends up hurting the family more than helping.

One thing is for sure: There is a fine line between gain and contentment.

A Dream From Around The World

A couple of months or so ago the wife of a good friend of mine in Nepal had a dream about me. This is a family we visit every time we go to Nepal and keep in regular contact with.

Here is what she told my wife: She had a dream that she saw me in the dusty streets of Kathmandu by myself, not with my family. She asked me, “Where are you going?” I did not speak to her but instead pointed forward toward the road that led up the mountain.

What really stood out for her was that I was not with my family and that it seemed I did not want to speak with her. Every trip to Nepal we visit them as a family and this was strange that I was in another country alone and that I was headed “up” the road.

Now we could have laughed it off. We could have told her to watch the spicy food before bedtime.

But we didn’t. For one, it really stirred up something in me. What was this all about? I pondered it for a few days, but even better my wife took to it to God in prayer and came to me in a couple days with what she thought the dream meant and it was dead accurate!

The Interpretation

Basically for the last several months I had been working very hard to grow one of my side hobbies into a business. It had begun to consume me. I was working my normal 9-5 and then spending hours afterward on this side business.

I had in a sense stepped out on my own endeavor and left my family behind. My wife was worn out. My kids were stretched. And there I was buried in the computer day in and day out, week after week.

My wife came to me and told me she knew what the dream meant. She told me (and I had honestly not noticed this) about how I had basically been slacking in my duties as a husband and a father. That I was in “another world” most of the time and that I had left them behind in this pursuit.

The backed me at the outset. They backed me in the pursuit. But there was no end in sight. 

I had created a heavy load and asked them to carry it.

Looking back to the dream, this is why I was seen alone without my family. This is why I did not speak to my friend, I was too busy. This is why I was headed uphill alone, because I WAS alone in this and it was quite a burden I was putting on myself as well as my family.

Let me tell you, God moved in a big way through this. I stepped back from this endless pursuit and took it as a comforting warning from God, that my family needed me much more than my hobbies.

That Fine Line

I think this is a clear signal for when one needs to step back from the pursuit of more riches and cultivate a healthy sense of contentment. This fine line between gain and contentment is crossed when the things that moth and rust will one day destroy become more important than those things with eternal value…your marriage, your children, your own spiritual health…your soul.

At the end of the day there is always a desire for more. Of course, be a diligent worker. Build your business. Be an entrepreneur.  By all means support your family financially! But the moment you notice (or someone else notices) yourself getting consumed, your wife getting worn out, or your children going astray, take a step back at any, and every, cost.

These gifts from God have eternal value. Your desire for more wealth and security does not.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,  thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

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