How many times have you got something you wanted at the expense of what you needed? Later you had to make adjustments to still get what you needed in the first place. Then you say to yourself, “I should have taken care of this in the first place.” Then as soon as you are faced with that decision again, you make the same choice to get what you want and then find a way to take care of what you need. It seems like there is a definite pattern. During this time of critical choices, you pray to God for a break-through or a financial miracle blessing. Don’t feel bad, I’m talking about myself.
It seems to me that we have been taught to go after what we want above our needs. We see others with bigger and better and a lot more than we have or believe them to be increasing while we are stuck in the same with the same. We are not happy unless we have much to show. More than we need. We then do whatever it takes to get these wants not knowing or caring of the consequences of our actions. Some even resort to “dirty deeds” just to obtain their wants; hurting others along the way. Sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional.
What happened to “be thankful for what you have”, “be grateful”, showing appreciation. It is hard to do so without contentment. Yes, contentment. Your thankfulness, gratefulness, and appreciation will not last or show in fullness, without contentment. You cannot wholly understand Philippians 4:13 without understanding verses 11&12.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
You see we jump to verse 13 and forget about 11 and 12, so the full lesson is not learned. Only part of the meaning is understood, therefore leaving us not fully equipped to deal with every situation at hand. Thus leaving us without the tools to overcome our wants to fulfill our needs. We cannot quite understand stewardship. Our desires have too much control over our decisions.
When we apply Godly principles to every aspect of our lives we find that tough decisions become easier and simple to make because of the greater understanding. There is a focus on what is right rather than on what people might think or what others have above or more than us. Applying this formula to our lives is a must: Godliness + contentment = great gain. 1 Timothy 6:5-7
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out…
Sacrificing what we need for what we want keeps us in shackles and leads us down the path of greed. It keeps us striving for things that are temporal, rather than after things that are eternal. God is eternal. Set your treasures in Heaven where The Father is. Matthew 6:19-21 says,
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Let us break away from sacrificing what we need for what we want and instead be content with what we have so that we may fulfill our needs.