The secret to contentment, how much money is enough (Philippians 4:12)

“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and ​hunger, abundance and need.” - Philippians 4:12

We had some visitors from the states a couple of days ago who got together with us and had dinner. We brought along several of the people who are involved in our ministry to talk with them about their lives as Christians and how it affects their work etc…

One of our local friends asked several questions and then said, “I’m a business man and I am all the time making more and more an more money. However, the more money I make the more I want - how do I find satisfaction in what I have? When will I have enough? How do I fight the temptation of always wanting more?”

This is a great question just because so many of us deal with it. Okay, well not so much me, I’m dirt poor (by American standards) and will likely be for some time unless I somehow change careers in a hurry, which isn’t looking likely.

I remember a few years ago (and I may have mentioned this in a previous post) I was attending a mens group and we were talking about how we were doing and money etc… Finally one guy in the group said that he was attending night classes to get his MBA and that he hoped he could make more money. We asked him if he thought he could ever have enough money and his answer was, “I have a number in my head, if I could just make twice what I make now then it would be enough.” He lived in a very wealthy area and made over $100,000/year already. I was fascinated. And so was everyone in my group.

So flash forward to this week and my friend asking this question. I was pleased with our American friends’ response. Two guys both shared about how they sought money for years and it took them almost 30 years of work to realize it was never going to make them happy. They were honest that while they had this head knowledge it was still difficult for them to apply it our lives. And one guy offered some advice on how to go about it.

It might be different for everyone. For me I find it easiest to take satisfaction in what I have by taking pride in the simplicity, or age of my things. My first car was older than I was - and so I took good care of it and enjoyed that I didn’t drive a mercedes but still got to school every day. My first PDA was given to me for free because it was about 4 years old (stone age for a PDA) at the time. I used that thing till it died and someone else offered me an even newer - old one.

This sorts of things work for me, taking pride in the old. Focusing on my gifts of family instead of my material possessions. More than anything giving thanks continually, and giving generously. The more I give the better grasp I feel I have on my money making me content.

But what about you? What do you think Paul discovered to be the secret of being content?