Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless~like chasing after the wind.
“Fools fold their idle hands,
leading them to ruin.”
“Better to have one handful with quietness
than two handfuls with hard work
and chasing the wind.”
~Ecclesiastes 4:4-6 (NLT)
Then I realized that we work and do wonderful things just because we are jealous of others. This makes no more sense than chasing the wind.Fools will fold their handsand starve to death.Yet a very little foodeaten in peaceis better than twice as muchearned from overworkand chasing the wind.
~Ecclesiastes 4:4-6 (CEV)
How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
In Philippians, Paul shares that he has learned to be content with whatever he has, whether nothing or everything. And the secret is Jesus!
You have probably heard verse 13 quoted many times, but I bet that almost every time it was quoted out of context. We usually see this verse on motivational prints encouraging us that we can do whatever we set our minds to do because Christ gives us strength. But when we read it in the context in which Paul wrote it, we find that Paul is actually reminding us that through Christ we can be content in every situation. Our human nature is to always want more than we have, even if we have very little or a whole lot. But Christ gives us the strength to be content in every situation.
The next time you are tempted to compare yourself or your life to something you see on television or social media, pause for a moment. Reflect on the blessings God has already given you. Choose to be thankful for what you have and ask Jesus to make you content.
Michele is married to the love of her life, Jeff. She has 3 grown children and 1 very sweet grandson! Most days you can find Michele laughing with good friends, working with numbers, writing, or working with women. In the evenings, she enjoys spending time in a few creative outlets like creative lettering, drawing, and pottery. She loves snuggling with her dog, Tebow, and reading. But one of her favorite passions is playing with her grandson and laughing at his bright smile! You can find her most weekends worshiping at our Real Life Clermont campus.