RUST NEVER SLEEPS
Rust never sleeps and sometimes I don’t either. We have a fairly new leased (or as Dave Ramsay says ‘fleeced’) car and it is showing signs of age already. Of all the things that could wear out on a vehicle our window frames are rusting. Now this article isn’t about the pros and cons of a new car or leasing per-say it is about how new things lose their ‘gleam’ so quickly and how easy it is to become discontent with things.
“For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”—Philippians 4:11
If we can learn how to be content in these very uncertain times we will know something very important.
Contentment, quite simply, means satisfaction, being at ease and at peace with one’s situation. We also might define it as “being comfortable in one’s own skin.”
We might think we know where contentment comes from. We may think it comes from affluence – from having plenty of money. John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest men of his day, and who had a net worth of $100 million, was once asked, “How much wealth does it take to be happy?” He answered, “Another million dollars.”
A person with six kids is more content than a person with $6 million. Why? Because the person with $6 million wants more! (That was a poor attempt at humour)
Anyways, the thing about money is, no matter how much we have, we think we need more.
We may think contentment comes from achievement. If we earn one more degree, get one more promotion, then we’ll be content.
Or we may think contentment can be found in acquisitions – from getting things on our “wish list.” A new house, a new car, a new boat, a vacation home – that will make us feel content.
But contentment seldom comes from affluence, achievement, or acquisitions. Paul learned that lesson.
Paul was one of the most ambitious men in the Bible. He was driven to succeed, to excel. And he had accomplished quite a lot in his life before he met the risen Christ. He lists some of his accomplishments in the third chapter of Philippians. (Check it out)
But he had also suffered a lot as an apostle and as a follower of Jesus Christ. He had suffered vicious beatings, shipwrecks, and being thrown in prison. But he could still write these words:
“I have learned to be content.”
Paul had discovered the secret of contentment. The secret was not found in external experience. He learned that contentment is an inside job.
Paul made this discovery: Contentment is not a matter of affluence, achievement, or acquisitions. Contentment is a matter of attitude.
The translator of The Message Bible explains it this way.
Philippians 4:10-13 “I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”
I have also learned to be content. It sucks that my Jetta is rusting in weird places but really it’s just a car. When I was younger there was a band called ‘Elim Hall’ I liked their music a lot and once I met the band members I really liked them personally as well. They came out with a recording called “Things Break”. It made an impression on me that has lasted all these years. Bottom line: Stuff is temporal. When I wrap my heart and attitude around that and put my thoughts towards people and the things unseen. I find contentment, I find calm, I find the Kingdom.
I think that is why Jesus said so clearly to put treasures in the heavenly realm where moth and rust have no affect.
On earth rust may not sleep but in heaven rust is deceased.