Thursday, October 18, 2012

Proverbs 27:8 Want to be successful?

Like a bird that flees its nest
    is anyone who flees from home.

(Godliness with contentment is not only "great gain" as Paul noted, but it is true success, as well.  Let me explain.)

The King James version translates our verse for today this way:  As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place. 

The word "wander" here brings with it the meanings of aimless, futile searching for something that you cannot find. Kinda sums up a lot of the modern culture, doesn't it? We have a whole culture and several generations who have grown up with "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" as their mantra. Young people must have the latest fad in clothing or the newest cell phone, or the most popular model car, in order to be "happy." Adults feel the need to have more and better "stuff" than their co-workers, their neighbors, and even their relatives. 

Let's face it, though, the coolest app you have on that shiny new cell phone will not mean a thing when you get to heaven. Really.

Why are we so discontented? Why are we not satisfied with our jobs, our homes, our spouses, our entertainment, etc? Well, why wasn't Eve satisfied with the lovely garden, her new husband, and fellowship with God? Lean closer, and I'll whisper it to you --- it's one of Satan's best strategies to make us feel uneasy, unfulfilled, unhappy --- let's call it discontented. If he can get us to focus on what we don't have, instead of enjoying what we do have, he's halfway to the goal line. It won't take much then, to push us into sin; it could be the sins of jealousy and covetousness; it could even be the sin of taking what isn't ours. 

The Bible tells us that we are to be content with what we have --- hey! Wait a minute! Does that mean that we should not strive to give the best to our family, to provide for them in the best way possible? Does it mean that we should sit back and settle for less? 
Nope.
It just means that we are not to obsess over what we have and don't have, and how those things stack up with what others have. Make sense?

Remember back in Proverbs 23, when Solomon said, "Don't wear yourself out, trying to be rich"? (Verse 4)
 
Here's a word from our old friend Paul, who was writing to Timothy:
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Much of the economy today is based on the marketing and advertising gurus' efforts to make you feel that you are never quite satisfied with what you have. Then you are in a hamster wheel of aimless, futile pursuit of whatever it is that will make you happy. 

It's time, instead, to be content. To stop wandering. To enjoy true success.

1 comment:

CATachresis said...

yes, I feel very much for the younger generation who have "stuff" like no generation ever before. And they expect it too! I do remember "making do" and my parent's generation who were kids in the last war had so little. Our "home" is of course heaven and it is good to keep our eyes on that. Thanks again for a very thoughtful post :)