[Papercut Press Publishing]1998-12-01 - Contentment

Hebrews 13:5...be content with such things as you have.

Generating, promoting, and breeding contentment

5. Earthly things are only useful while we live.

"Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but the Lord will do away with both of them..." (1 Cor. 6:13)

Food, gold, houses, jobs, stereos, and sweaters will all be left behind in this life. We don't take them with us. These things are fine for our use in this life, but the life to come is a spiritual life and all these things will be taken away.

It is often forgotten that this life is but short and uncertain. We come into this world and then we go out again. I have worked my current job for seven years, and for the first five years I enjoyed talking to one of the other workers, Mary, while she waited for her ride to pick her up after work. Mary died two days ago. Mary came into this world, brought joy to many lives and now has left this world. Life is short.

While we live, we have various possessions and property, but when we die these things go to someone else and are useless to us. What we need is that which will help us in our passage to heaven. We can not take our riches with us, and thankfully, the sting of the mis-use of our possessions has been taken by Christ, so what do we take and what will aid us?

I would like to suggest that what will aid us in our journey to heaven is not the possessions we have but rather the clean conscience that we have used our possessions in a manner that is pleasing to God. So while we do not carry our "things" with us, we can take a good conscience with us. "...their works follow them" (Rev. 14:13) is the promise to the saints in heaven. Let it be to us a promise and not a threat.

To know contentment is to know that the things of this earth are passing and that we must put our trust in the lasting things of eternity. May we go to our eternal reward with the bliss and peace of a clean conscience and with the full understanding that what we have left behind here will be replaced in heaven in a far better manner than we can even hope.

Two Cistercian monks, in the reign of King Henry VIII were threatened with being tied up in a sack and thrown into the Thames river. "My Lord," said one, "we are going to the kingdom of heaven, and whether we go by land or water is of very little consequence to us."

Soli Deo Gloria,