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Contentment

 

Complaining

The next time you feel like complaining, remember that your garbage disposal probably eats better than 30 percent of the world’s population does. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Complaining

The story is told of a Christian who was reduced to such poverty that he had only one pair of shoes, with the soles worn through and his toes sticking out. Depressed and discouraged, he walked down the street mumbling to himself: “I might as well be barefooted as to wear these miserable, uncomfortable shoes.” As he felt himself becoming more and more bitter, he came upon a man sitting on the sidewalk and begging. The poor fellow had no legs. After a moment, the discouraged Christian realized that there was something worse than having old shoes-having no feet upon which to wear the shoes.

Are you complaining? Think how much worse things could be. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Contentment

Two little teardrops were floating down the river of life. One teardrop asked the other, “Who are you?”

“I am a teardrop from a girl who loved a man and lost him. But who are you?”

The first teardrop replied, “I am a teardrop from the girl who got him.”

Life is like that. We cry over the things we can’t have, but we might cry twice as hard if we had received them. Paul had the right idea when he said, “…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” (Phil. 4:12). ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Contentment

A little Swiss watch had been made with the smallest of parts and great skill. Yet it was dissatisfied with its restricted sphere of influence on a lady’s wrist. It envied the position of the great tower clock on the city hall. One day as it passed with its owner by the city hall, the tiny watch exclaimed, “I wish I could go way up there! I could then serve many instead of just one.” Now it so happened that its owner was in a position with the city that gave her access to the tower clock, so she said, “You shall have your opportunity, little watch.”

The next day, a slender thread was let down from the tower and the little watch was tied to it. Slowly and carefully, the watch was pulled up the side of the tower, rising higher and higher each moment. Of course, when it reached the top, it was completely lost to view. In this dramatic way, the watch learned that its elevation had effected its annihilation!

Pray the you too may not lose the small influence you now have for Christ by coveting something larger for which you are not equipped, and which God constantly refuses you in his love. Learn to be content. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Contentment

A story is told of a king who was suffering from a mysterious malady and was advised by his astrologer that he would be cured if the shirt of a contented man was brought for him to wear. People went out to all parts of the kingdom looking for such a person, and after a long search they found a man who was really happy. But he did not even possess a shirt. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Contentment

A Puritan sat down to his meal and found that he had only a little bread and some water. His response was to exclaim, “What? All this and Jesus Christ, too!”

Contentment is found when we have a correct perspective on life. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Covetousness

A father was walking down the street with his two small sons, both of whom were cry loudly, A neighbor passing by inquired, “What’s the matter? Why all the fuss?” The father responded, “The trouble with these lads is what’s wrong with the world. One has a piece of candy and the other wants it!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Covetousness

The trouble with this world is that too many people try to go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Covetousness

The story is told of an elderly Quaker who, to teach his neighbors a lesson, put up a sign on a vacant piece of property he owned that read, “I will give this lot to anyone who is really satisfied.”

A wealthy farmer read it as he rode by and said to himself, “Since my Quaker friend is going to give this piece of land away, I might as well have it as anyone else. I am rich and have all I need, so I am well able to qualify.” He went up to the Quaker’s door and, when the aged man appeared, the farmer explained why he had come.

“And art thou really satisfied?” asked the owner of the lot.

“I surely am,” was the farmer’s reply. “I have all I need, and I am well satisfied.”

“Friend,” said the other, “if thou art satisfied, then what dost thou want with my lot?” The question revealed the covetousness that was hidden in the man’s heart. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Greed

Many years ago a major American company had trouble keeping employees working in their assembly plant in Panama. The laborers lived in a generally agrarian, barter economy, but the company paid them in cash. Since the average employee had more cash after a week’s work than he had ever seen, he would periodically quit working, satisfied with what he had made.

What was the solution? Company executives gave all their employees a Sears catalog. No one quit then, because they all wanted the previously undreamed-of things they saw in the book. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Greed

An old method for catching raccoons is to place a piece of foil inside a small barred box that is staked to the ground. When a raccoon comes by, he reaches his paw into the box to get the foil. But, once he has grasped the foil, his paw changes shape and will not fit back through the bars on the box. Many times a raccoon would rather give up his freedom and perhaps his life—just for the sake of a shiny but useless piece of foil. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Greed

The story is told of long ago when a great ship struck a reef and began to sink. It was obvious that the people on the ship had only a few minutes to escape, so all their belongings were abandoned as they fled to the lifeboats. However, one man on the ship ran and filled his pockets with gold from different staterooms and the ship’s safe. This took just long enough that there were no lifeboats left. So the thief put on a life jacket and jumped overboard, happy with his new riches and his narrow escape. But, as his friends who had left quickly looked on, he hit the water and plummeted to the bottom like an anchor—the weight of the gold being too much to allow him to float.

Greed often fills us with that which becomes our own destruction. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Greed

A reporter interviewed Lynette Fromme, the girl who took a shot at President Ford in Sacramento and who was also a member of the infamous. Manson family. She said that the thing that attracted her to Charles Manson was his philosophy—“Get what you want whenever you want it. That is your God-inspired right.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Greed

A little girl accompanied her mother to the country store where, after the mother had made a purchase, the clerk invited the child to help herself to a handful of candy. The youngster held back, “What’s the matter? Don’t you like candy?” asked the clerk. The child nodded, and the clerk smilingly put his hand into the jar and dropped a generous portion into the little girl’s handbag.

Afterward the mother asked her daughter why she had not taken the candy when the clerk first offered some to her. “Because his hand was bigger than mine,” replied the little girl. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Greed

Greedy can overpower nearly all elements of spiritual maturity. That is why giving is so important. Giving should not be like and overflow valve on our wealth, that is, giving what is excess. Rather, it should be like a loosened drain plug. You see, for wealthy people, tithing is actually an escape from real giving, since they can easily spare that 10 percent. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

CONTENTMENT

In the fifth century, a man named Arenius determined to live a holy life. So he abandoned the conforms of Egyptian society to follow an austere lifestyle in the desert. Yet whenever he visited the great city of Alexandria, he spent time wandering through its bazaars. Asked why, he explained that his heart rejoiced at the sight of all the things he didn't need. Those of us who live in a society flooded with goods and gadgets need to ponder the example of that desert dweller. A typical supermarket in the United States in 1976 stocked 9,000 articles; today it carries 30,000. How many of them are absolutely essential? How many superfluous? ── Our Daily Bread, May 26, 1994.

 

CONTENTMENT

Philip Parham tells the story of a rich industrialist who was disturbed to find a fisherman sitting lazily beside his boat. "Why aren't you out there fishing?" he asked.

"Because I've caught enough fish for today," said the fisherman.
"Why don't you catch more fish than you need?' the rich man asked.
"What would I do with them?"

"You could earn more money," came the impatient reply, "and buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. You could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make more money. Soon you'd have a fleet of boats and be rich like me."

The fisherman asked, "Then what would I do?"
"You could sit down and enjoy life," said the industrialist.
"What do you think I'm doing now?" the fisherman replied as he looked placidly out to sea. ── Our Daily Bread, May 18, 1994.

 

CONTENTMENT

Years ago, Russell Conwell told of an ancient Persian, Ali Hafed, who "owned a very large farm that had orchards, grain fields, and gardens... and was a wealthy contented man." One day a wise man from the East told the farmer all about diamonds and how wealthy he would be if he owned a diamond mine. Ali Hafed went to bed that night a poor man--poor because he was discontented. Craving a mine of diamonds, he sold his farm to search for the rare stones. He traveled the world over, finally becoming so poor, broken, and defeated that he committed suicide. One day the man who purchased Ali Hafed's farm led his camel into the garden to drink. As his camel put its nose into the brook, the man saw a flash of light from the sands of the stream. He pulled out a stone that reflected all the hues of the rainbow. The man had discovered the diamond mine of Golcanda, the most magnificent mine in all history. Had Ali Hafed remained at home and dug in his own garden, then instead of death in a strange land, he would have had acres of diamonds.── G. Sweeting, in Moody Monthly, May, 1988,  p. 95.

 

CONTENTMENT

A number of years ago there was a popular program called The Goldbergs. In one episode, Jake Goldberg came home for supper and excitedly told his wife, Molly, about a great idea he had. He wanted to go into business. Molly had some money put away, anticipating just such a thing, and she gave it to him. As they sat at the dinner table, enthusiastically discussing the future, Jake said, "Molly, some day we'll be eating off of golden plates!" Molly looked at him and replied, "Jake, darling, will it taste any better?"── Source Unknown.

 

CONTENTMENT

A man became envious of his friends because they had larger and more luxurious homes. So he listed his house with a real estate firm, planning to sell it and to purchase a more impressive home. Shortly afterward, as he was reading the classified section of the newspaper, he saw an ad for a house that seemed just right. He promptly called the realtor and said, "A house described in today's paper is exactly what I'm looking for. I would like to go through it as soon as possible!" The agent asked him several questions about it and then replied, "But sir, that's your house your describing."── Source Unknown.

 

CONTENTMENT

Leaning on his fence one day, a devout Quaker was watching a new neighbor move in next door. After all kinds of modern appliances, electronic gadgets, plush furniture, and costly wall hangings had been carried in, the onlooker called over, "If you find you're lacking anything, neighbor, let me know and I'll show you how to live without it." ── Source Unknown.

 

CONTENTMENT, Statistics and Stuff

Dream On. Postwar Americans always cherished the expectation that their standard of living would improve with each generation. In polls at the onset of the Reagan era, 2 of every 3 respondents said they expected to be better off than their parents. Now, that figure is being reversed. Almost three fourth of the 1,000 people who answered a Roper poll for Shearson Lehman Brothers say the American Dream is "harder to attain" than a generation ago. And 60 percent say achieving the dream requires more financial risk than it did for their parents.The poll also finds that some of the values held most dear during the 1980s -- like wealth, power and fame -- are those that Americans are now most likely to deem "unimportant." The most important elements of today's American Dream center on family and friends. But money remains something to dream about. For Americans with household incomes under $25,000, it would take $54,000 a year to fulfill the American dream. Those who make $100,000 plus crave an average of $192,000. In other words, the American Dream usually lies nearly twice the distance away.──  Amy Bernstein, U.S. News & World Report, July 27, 1992, p. 11.

 

CONTENTMENT, Humor

Before movie companies were careful about Swahili translations--assuming no one in the U.S. would understand--a director needed an African messenger who was to gasp out a sentence to the big chief, collapsing as he delivered his message, since he had run for days with his vital news. A local Englishman who spoke Swahili was asked to write an urgent-sounding sentence in the language. He did, tongue in cheek. An American actor played the part beautifully. All went well until the movie was shown in Nairobi (where everyone spoke Swahili, of course). The drama of the moment was reduced to high comedy. What the messenger actually said as he threw himself, exhausted, before the chief was, "I do not think I am getting paid enough money for this part." ── B. and J. Leslie-Melville, Elephant Have Right of Way.

 

COVETEOUSNESS

Recently I laid a small circle of poison around a hill of stinging ants. Thinking the tiny granules of poison were food, the ants began to pick them up and carry them throughout the colony. I returned later to see how well the poison was working. Hundreds of the stinging ants were carrying the poison down into their hill. Then I noticed a hole in the circle of poison. Some of the poison was moving the opposite way--away from the hill. Some smaller, non-stinging ants had found this "food" and were stealing it from their ant neighbors. Thinking they were getting the other ants' treasure, they unwittingly poisoned themselves. When we see someone with more than we have, we must beware. The hunger to beg, borrow, or steal our way into what is theirs may poison us spiritually. ── Bob James.

 

CONTENTMENT

"Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor." ── Benjamin Franklin.

 

CONTENTMENT

Be content with what you have, never with what you are.

 

CONTENTMENT

I had no shoes and complained until I met a man who had no feet.

 

CONTENTMENT, Poems

He that is down needs fear no fall;
He that is low, no pride;
He that is humble, ever shall
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,
Little be it, or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because Thou savest such.

── John Bunyan, quoted in Anthology of Jesus.

 

DISCONTENTMENT

"Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor." 

Benjamin Franklin.

 

Complaining

The next time you feel like complaining, remember that your garbage disposal probably eats better than 30 percent of the world’s population does.

 

Complaining

The story is told of a Christian who was reduced to such poverty that he had only one pair of shoes, with the soles worn through and his toes sticking out. Depressed and discouraged, he walked down the street mumbling to himself: “I might as well be barefooted as to wear these miserable, uncomfortable shoes.” As he felt himself becoming more and more bitter, he came upon a man sitting on the sidewalk and begging. The poor fellow had no legs. After a moment, the discouraged Christian realized that there was something worse than having old shoes-having no feet upon which to wear the shoes.

        Are you complaining? Think how much worse things could be.

 

Contentment

Two little teardrops were floating down the river of life. One teardrop asked the other, “Who are you?”

        “I am a teardrop from a girl who loved a man and lost him. But who are you?”

        The first teardrop replied, “I am a teardrop from the girl who got him.”

        Life is like that. We cry over the things we can’t have, but we might cry twice as hard if we had received them. Paul had the right idea when he said, “…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” (Phil. 4:12).

 

Contentment

A little Swiss watch had been made with the smallest of parts and great skill. Yet it was dissatisfied with its restricted sphere of influence on a lady’s wrist. It envied the position of the great tower clock on the city hall. One day as it passed with its owner by the city hall, the tiny watch exclaimed, “I wish I could go way up there! I could then serve many instead of just one.” Now it so happened that its owner was in a position with the city that gave her access to the tower clock, so she said, “You shall have your opportunity, little watch.”

        The next day, a slender thread was let down from the tower and the little watch was tied to it. Slowly and carefully, the watch was pulled up the side of the tower, rising higher and higher each moment. Of course, when it reached the top, it was completely lost to view. In this dramatic way, the watch learned that its elevation had effected its annihilation!

        Pray the you too may not lose the small influence you now have for Christ by coveting something larger for which you are not equipped, and which God constantly refuses you in his love. Learn to be content.

 

Contentment

A story is told of a king who was suffering from a mysterious malady and was advised by his astrologer that he would be cured if the shirt of a contented man was brought for him to wear. People went out to all parts of the kingdom looking for such a person, and after a long search they found a man who was really happy. But he did not even possess a shirt.

 

Contentment

A Puritan sat down to his meal and found that he had only a little bread and some water. His response was to exclaim, “What? All this and Jesus Christ, too!”

        Contentment is found when we have a correct perspective on life.

 

Covetousness

A father was walking down the street with his two small sons, both of whom were cry loudly, A neighbor passing by inquired, “What’s the matter? Why all the fuss?” The father responded, “The trouble with these lads is what’s wrong with the world. One has a piece of candy and the other wants it!”

 

Covetousness

The trouble with this world is that too many people try to go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.

 

Covetousness

The story is told of an elderly Quaker who, to teach his neighbors a lesson, put up a sign on a vacant piece of property he owned that read, “I will give this lot to anyone who is really satisfied.”

        A wealthy farmer read it as he rode by and said to himself, “Since my Quaker friend is going to give this piece of land away, I might as well have it as anyone else. I am rich and have all I need, so I am well able to qualify.” He went up to the Quaker’s door and, when the aged man appeared, the farmer explained why he had come.

        “And art thou really satisfied?” asked the owner of the lot.

        “I surely am,” was the farmer’s reply. “I have all I need, and I am well satisfied.”

        “Friend,” said the other, “if thou art satisfied, then what dost thou want with my lot?” The question revealed the covetousness that was hidden in the man’s heart.

 

Greed

        Many years ago a major American company had trouble keeping employees working in their assembly plant in Panama. The laborers lived in a generally agrarian, barter economy, but the company paid them in cash. Since the average employee had more cash after a week’s work than he had ever seen, he would periodically quit working, satisfied with what he had made.

        What was the solution? Company executives gave all their employees a Sears catalog. No one quit then, because they all wanted the previously undreamed-of things they saw in the book.

 

Greed

        An old method for catching raccoons is to place a piece of foil inside a small barred box that is staked to the ground. When a raccoon comes by, he reaches his paw into the box to get the foil. But, once he has grasped the foil, his paw changes shape and will not fit back through the bars on the box. Many times a raccoon would rather give up his freedom and perhaps his life—just for the sake of a shiny but useless piece of foil.

 

Greed

        The story is told of long ago when a great ship struck a reef and began to sink. It was obvious that the people on the ship had only a few minutes to escape, so all their belongings were abandoned as they fled to the lifeboats. However, one man on the ship ran and filled his pockets with gold from different staterooms and the ship’s safe. This took just long enough that there were no lifeboats left. So the thief put on a life jacket and jumped overboard, happy with his new riches and his narrow escape. But, as his friends who had left quickly looked on, he hit the water and plummeted to the bottom like an anchor—the weight of the gold being too much to allow him to float.

        Greed often fills us with that which becomes our own destruction.

 

Greed

        A reporter interviewed Lynette Fromme, the girl who took a shot at President Ford in Sacramento and who was also a member of the infamous. Manson family. She said that the thing that attracted her to Charles Manson was his philosophy—“Get what you want whenever you want it. That is your God-inspired right.”

 

Greed

        A little girl accompanied her mother to the country store where, after the mother had made a purchase, the clerk invited the child to help herself to a handful of candy. The youngster held back, “What’s the matter? Don’t you like candy?” asked the clerk. The child nodded, and the clerk smilingly put his hand into the jar and dropped a generous portion into the little girl’s handbag.

        Afterward the mother asked her daughter why she had not taken the candy when the clerk first offered some to her. “Because his hand was bigger than mine,” replied the little girl.

 

Greed

        Greedy can overpower nearly all elements of spiritual maturity. That is why giving is so important. Giving should not be like and overflow valve on our wealth, that is, giving what is excess. Rather, it should be like a loosened drain plug. You see, for wealthy people, tithing is actually an escape from real giving, since they can easily spare that 10 percent.