The book of Ecclesiastes never fails to amaze me. Written by the richest person ever to walk the face of the earth, King David’s son, the wise King Solomon. And with all his majestic trappings of abundance, he exclaims with certainty, with finality;
“The foolishness of thinking that wealth brings happiness!” - Ecclesiastes 5:10
It is quite the opposite of how most of us view happiness though. Monitor our TV channels and you will discover how commercialism diffuses the beacon of King Solomon’s lessons:
If you have this car you will be satisfied…
If you live in this nice house or condo, you’re living the life!
If you work for us, you’re set for sure.
If you wear this, you’d feel good.
… And the list goes on. Commercials or advertisements do not want you to feel content. Its underlying subtle message is to suggest that what you’ve got isn’t enough. You “need” an upgrade, even if you have just purchased your computer last month! If you believe this you end up spending more. And for some, spending even beyond their means. Your iPad is so old, you need an iPad2! Ah, if you continue, you may soon be in a terrible debt trap.
Do you want to read a funny story about “upgrades”. Read on:
A wealthy tourist, complete with dark glasses and cameras, went strolling along a beach and found a fisherman sleeping along side his small boat.
“Why aren’t you out catching fish?” asked the tourist.
“I’ve caught enough for the day,” answered the fisherman.
Upgrade suggestion #1: “But why don’t you go out and catch more and make some money and then buy a net so you can catch even more?” the proud tourist said.
“What for?” the puzzled fisherman asked.
Upgrade suggestion #2: “Then you could buy a motor for your canoe and go out farther where there are still more fish to catch.” replied the tourist.
“But why catch more fish?” asked the still puzzled fisherman.
Upgrade suggestion #3: “So that you can earn more money and buy a whole fleet of fishing boats!” exclaimed the tourist.
“Then what?” Now the fisherman is really confused.
Upgrade suggestion #4: “Then you would become rich and could spend your time taking it easy.” the proud tourist counsels.
“Ah… thanks! But isn’t that what I am already doing?”
Now that’s contentment.
Look around you and see how God has been blessing you so far. Do not fall into the enemy’s trap, it’s a lie when you feel deprived. Truth to tell, you’ve been well cared for by God all along.
Be content! When you are content, you avoid risks, traps… and debts! Read in Philippians 4:11-13 what the Apostle Paul has to say.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
This is “Utanggalin”, a weekly article supporting the Freedom from Debt Campaign by Crown Financial Philippines in cooperation with the CBNAsia Family of Ministries.
Has this article blessed you? Please tell us about it! You may read more articles if you visit http://www.utanggalin.com . You may reach us by sending an email to email@example.com . We are here to help you get started towards the road to true financial freedom.
Jim Reyes is a veteran radio broadcaster, and recently the National Director of a Christian Media Ministry in the Philippines. For the past 18-years he has been involved with broadcasting ministries such as FEBC Philippines, United Christian Broadcasters & Trans World Radio Philippines. He is the husband of Ma. Teresa Reyes and a father to a cyberkid, Charis Reyes.
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