Contentment and WorkBro. David Chancellor
7/13/2008 6:00 PM
I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
The writer set out to understand life and humanity. "I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit." If we are just living as many do, that is an accurate portrayal of life. Lots of people spend lots of time going nowhere. The writer tried many things and shared his experiences and words of wisdom here.
We could live in a very narrow sphere. Sometimes we need a bigger picture of the world and our place in it. The world doesn’t revolve around us. Some things we do can help us to realize what other people are going through in life. We should appreciate the blessing of the life we’re living. A lot of people like to eat the fruits of labor without laboring. There are a lot of people who are working hard for very little money so that you can buy food for very reasonable prices. People tend to shy away from work. Some jobs are necessary. Consider how things get to you. We need the farmers. If people aren’t willing to work hard and grow food, we’ll end up with a food shortage. Do we appreciate what others are doing for us? Many of the good things we enjoy are because someone put in the effort for us.
Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.
It is good to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Working brings a sense of accomplishment. It’s good to be able to see a job well done, and to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Labor is not a bad thing.
We need to be able to realize that we’ve been blessed by God. We’ve got it really good in many ways. Learn to be content. There will always be someone who will have more than you do. Be able to enjoy the fruit of life’s labors and be content.
He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread. A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
People may not always look up to you, but you don’t have to be unhappy if you have God’s blessings. Others may look down on us and think we’re lacking, but we can know that we have plenty. This life isn’t about following other people. You can do more for your country by just working hard and behaving yourself. Do your work and be content. People will try to influence how you think.
He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.
Humanity looks for a shortcut to doing work. Talk accomplishes nothing if people aren’t willing to work. Be willing to work and appreciate what other people do. Almost everything involves work. Poverty often follows those who don’t want to work.
2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
For yourselves know how we ought to follow us: for we behaved not disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work and eat their own bread.
Paul set an example before the people; he worked hard for the gospel, both in preaching and in supporting himself and others financially. Ministers should be supported, but they also need to work hard to accomplish God’s purpose. We shouldn’t just be lazy. We all have our work. Our work should contribute to the benefit of mankind. Appreciate what’s been provided. Don’t complain about work. Be willing to work. Do your part to contribute to society.
1 Timothy 6:3-10
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings." You can argue about a lot of things, but we should get acquainted with God. Complaining won’t change things. Find contentment in God. Contentment will help make it easier to afford to live. Happiness is found in being content. In God you can be content. Godliness with contentment is great gain, and it is God’s gift.