An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.
The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.” The banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican fisherman replied he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.
The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos: I have a full and busy life, señor.”
The investment banker scoffed, “I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats until eventually, you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”
Then he added, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15–20 years.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You could make millions.”
“Millions, señor? Then what?”
To which the investment banker replied, “Then you would retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (I Timothy 6:6)
How can I say, I am happy to walk with Jesus if I am neither content with who He is in my life, nor with His provisions for me to live in this world?
Am I content with who I am in Christ?
It is wise to never compare ourselves with anyone. God created us unique in every way in His very own image. He doesn’t looks at us as the world does. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (I Samuel 16:7). “I will give thanks to You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
Only we ourselves are responsible for fulfilling God’s purpose that He has designed for us as disciples of Jesus, and as wives and mothers. God has entrusted our husbands, children, relatives and friends to us, to whom we can minister in specific ways. We are not perfect but God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Like Paul, most gladly, therefore, we will boast about our weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in us (II Corinthians 12:9). There is now no room for us to compare ourselves with anyone, because it is Christ who dwells in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17).
Each of us has specific gifts of the Holy Spirit to bless the body of Christ; we don’t have to long for someone else’s gift. As it is written in I Corinthians 12, God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, exactly as He desired. Since we have gifts that differ, each of us is to exercise them according to the grace given to us (Romans 12:6-8). So let us value one another, whether eye or feet in the Body of Christ. Whatever may be our function in the Body of Christ, let us do it cheerfully instead of comparing ourselves with others. That will only lead to feelings of incompetence. The woman who poured out the alabaster oil over Jesus’ feet did not worry about what others would think about her. She was forgiven much, and so she loved Him much. Her service to Jesus was out of much love!
Am I content with God’s provision for me?
Happiness does not come from getting all that we want, but in enjoying all that God has provided for us with a thankful heart. Our children not only observe our attitude towards material things, but also absorb it. Where our treasure is, so is theirs! They watch us in what we seek and how we seek it.
God has never failed anyone who has put their trust in Him, so we can totally trust Him for all our earthly needs. What Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 is absolutely true: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
We don’t have to compare our household income, the size of our home, the amount of furnishings or gadgets, our education, or anything of earthly value with anyone else’s, because Christ dwelling in our home and in the midst of our relationships is more important than any earthly possession. That, rather than material things or our qualifications, makes our home a blessing to others.
When we constantly desire more, such coveting inhibits our fellowship and relationship with others. Jealousy arises when we count others’ blessings instead of our own. Let us learn to count our own blessings so that our hearts will be filled with thankfulness! A thankful heart is a happy heart.
We also need not belittle ourselves because of something we don’t have. Our worth does not come from our earthly possessions, but from Christ who valued us so much that He died so that we could be reconciled with our Father in heaven. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever (I John 2:17).
There is nothing wrong in asking God and making our needs known to Him in prayer or even talking to Him about our heart’s desires, because He is our Father who supplies all our needs (Jehovah Jireh)!
“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now” (Elisabeth Elliot).
We can then say like Paul, I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content (Philippians 4:11).
“For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you [woman] of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” (I Timothy 6:10-11).
As godly women full of contentment, we can be a great blessing to our family and our church, Christ radiantly shining in us! Such a woman is far more precious than rubies (Proverbs 31:10).