Freedom of Contentment
Day: 17 | Plan: Luke
Today’s Reading: Luke 12:1-34
Luke 12:13 (NIV) “Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’”
We live in an uneven world. Some are wealthy. Others live paycheck to paycheck. However, our God never defines anyone by what is in the bank, or what they have accumulated. He sees each of us for who we are on the inside.
Our greatest treasure is built as we give our all to Him.
In Luke 12, a man asks Jesus to judge an inheritance between himself and his brother. This isn’t an unusual request as rabbis were often asked to mediate family conflicts.
Jesus declines. He sees this man’s heart and realizes it isn’t an issue of fairness, but covetousness.
Is it wrong to have (or want) things? No. It’s when things—or the desire for more and more—begin to own us that we lose our way.
Jesus used this encounter with the young man to teach His disciples a life truth: Money can fill a bank, but it can never fill a heart.
We nurture, we polish, we maintain. In a pursuit for more, we build barns or rent storage units to house items we might not touch for years. We want what others have, and perhaps miss what is right under our noses. Our lives become cluttered with stuff, and yet it’s not enough.
What might have happened if the young man had asked Jesus a different question?
Lord, can you help me find contentment, right where I am?
Jesus, I’m angry at my brother. How can I deal with these feelings?
These are honest, transforming questions. Whether he received a portion of the inheritance or not, with the answers to these questions, this man has the potential to walk away with a contented heart.
When we struggle with greed, we can ask Jesus for help, and His response is never condemnation. (John 3:17) It’s love. It’s direction. It’s a new perspective, as we understand that “life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15).
What do we gain? The freedom of contentment.
We begin to relate our lives to things that last, over those that don’t.
We hold more loosely to things, as their hold on us is loosened.
We seek first the kingdom of God (Luke 12:31), because this is where we find our greatest treasure.
As we become whole on the inside, the outside—what we own, or what we don’t—no longer defines us.
Prayer: Father, thank You for loving who I am, over what I have. If discontentment tries to take me down a road You never intended, correct my course. Root out greed and replace it with contentment. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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