Sometimes it is easy to focus on the things we don’t have instead of focusing on the things we do have. I have a faithful, godly wife who loves me. I have three healthy, mostly-well-behaved children who (by their own reports) are trusting in Christ for salvation. I have a roof over my head, food on the table, and a job where I can work to provide for my family. I have a God who loves me and has a plan for my life.
When we look at the people around us, it is easy to focus on their blessings without seeing their trials. I know people who take lavish vacations, but deal with daily health problems I don’t want. I know people who live in places I want to live and drive cars I would like to drive who have unfaithful spouses, prodigal children, and other issues. When the green-eyed monster rears his ugly head, I remind myself that everything comes with a cost. As Robert Heinlein said, “TANSTAAFL.” That stands for “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” I COULD have a nice car to drive, but my children wouldn’t get the education I am paying for. I COULD go on a cruise with my wife, but I choose to pay the mortgage instead. When I examine my life in comparison to the other seven billion people on earth, I am truly blessed.
When I think about all the things God has given me, I would list the salvation of my soul as #1, because there isn’t a thing I own or a relationship I have that is more important than that. There isn’t a person I know that I wouldn’t give up knowing if I had to in order to still be saved. There isn’t one single possession that I wouldn’t give away if I had to in order to keep my salvation. God does not require a single possession from me to save me. I don’t need to cut off ties with anybody in order to trust Christ. But somehow knowing this keeps my priorities in line.
What’s the most important thing in my life? It’s my relationship with God. If something bad happened to one of my children, my wife, or my parents, it would not mean I lost my salvation. If I lost my job, my car, my house, my food, my sight, my hearing, my legs, or even my mind, I am secure in the belief that I cannot lose my salvation.
Someone once told me that the definition of contentment is “wanting what you already have.” This is not an easy target to hit, but it is worthy, because God says, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”
I don’t have everything I want, but I have everything I need, and that’s enough.