“To be satisfied with what we have at present is positively a gift of the Holy Spirit. For the flesh, contentment is possible. The flesh is forever moving from present possessions to future ones. It loses the former in a pursuit of the latter and thus deprives itself of the use of both.”
It’s been said that “the man who dies with the most toys wins.” It has also been said that “you can’t take it with you.” One sentiment seeks to glorify present treasures while the other lives in the reality of the future.
The one who finds satisfaction in building up worldly treasure’s lives for today. The treasures of the present bring excitement to life, but the excitement is fleeting. When one “toy” has been added it loses its luster and the mind goes to the next toy to possess. In the end, true satisfaction is never found because no number of earthly treasures can be enough. There will always be one more toy to gain.
The realist understands that you can own all the toys of the world but, in the end, they are of no consequence. The Christian is called to live in this understanding. God would have that His children be satisfied with what they have at present and to only strive for the things that they need, an attitude that Luther rightly posits as a gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit guides us to trust in God and not in the things of the world.
People are given warning by Jesus in Luke 12:15, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” He is even more direct when He says later in Luke 14:33, “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
A person should not be defined by the number of their possessions but by the faith they show in their service to God. Your earthly possessions can only serve you for a time, but Your God has prepared something much more satisfying for you that will last for an eternity.
Take a moment to meditate on all that you have been given and even on all the gifts of God that you have ultimately rejected. Claim your heavenly inheritance and live not for the things of this earth.
Our Prayer: Prepare me for heaven by helping me to understand that it is the heavenly things to come that I should place my hope in. Help me to be content with what You have given me and to not mark my success in the accumulation of earthly treasures. Amen.