1 Timothy 6:8 – So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. (NLT)
I carried them out by the armload — a seemingly endless task.
Our move was complete — except for moving our clothes. Although my wife doesn't buy fancy clothes — nor buy them from expensive stores — she loves new outfits — or at least ones new to her. Her closet brimmed with pants, dresses, and blouses.
Of course, my closet didn't look much better. The difference is that I don't buy new clothes. I don't have to, because my wife and mother do. By the time that I'd finished emptying my closet, one car was full. Then I started on my wife's. This filled the second car and taxed my nerves.
This is ridiculous, I thought. We both have enough clothes to wear for two months without washing. I thought of the old days when houses didn't have closets — no need for them. As time progressed, closets were included, but they were small and dark — not much to put in there. People had one or two Sunday-go-to-meeting outfits and maybe a few pair of pants and shirts for work. In developing or impoverished countries, this is still the case.
Paul's instruction to young Timothy was for him to be content with food and clothing. I suppose that we should throw shelter into the mix. Perhaps Paul takes for granted that we're smart enough to know that we must have protection from the elements. But how much clothing or food?
When I was a teenager, contentment meant name brand jeans — Levis®. It also entailed a certain brand of tennis shoes — Converse®. When it came to a bicycle, it had to have high handle bars and a banana seat. Later, my contentment was measured by larger things with higher price tags. I'm certainly not high maintenance, but neither am I satisfied with a Spam® sandwich every night and two pairs of clothes.
But true contentment isn't measured by things — or even by power, notoriety, or recognition. Contentment is found in a restored relationship with my Creator, followed by my trusting Him to meet all my needs — not my wants. Since He is all-knowing, He knows what I need — along with how much of it. I don't have to have mounds of anything; I do need mounds of His love and mercy.
Let us all find contentment in a close and growing relationship with Christ. Nothing else satisfies.
Prayer: Father, may we find our joy and satisfaction in our daily walk with You. Amen.
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