“I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances. I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation—to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11,12)
What is a life well-lived?
Whose vision are you living? Whose dream are you living — yours or Corporate America’s?
Our society has no concept of “enough”. It’s not enough to have a house; Corporate America would have you believe that you must have a twenty-room McMansion in order to be a complete and “successful” human being.
It’s not enough to have a car. Corporate America would have you believe that in order to be “successful”, one must have a Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW, or some other car that costs as much as most people’s mortgages.
What do YOU want? What appeals to YOU?
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
The “preacher” who wrote these verses in the Book of Ecclesiastes is none other than King Solomon.
Solomon had wealth beyond imagination. He had hundreds of wives (it is said that he fathered children by every single one of them). He had gold. He had jewels. He had mines. He had the best of everything.
Whatever he wanted, he possessed
“Vanity” is translated in the original Hebrew as “vapor”. In essence, what Solomon is saying is that life comes and goes like vapor, like the mist.
“Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:18,19)
This is the fate of all who strive after riches — You Can’t Take it With You. Your kids will be fighting over your “stuff” long after you’ve passed away.
How much of what we think we want in life is the result of our being programmed by Corporate America? Madison Avenue spends billions of dollars every year to convince us that we are an “aspirational” society.
What is it that we should “aspire” to … gold-plated toys? Trinkets? Is having the latest model iPhone really worth working 90+ hours a week? Is the BMW that’s parked in your driveway worth the time you’ve spent away from your spouse and children?
“I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11)
“Righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are in the hand of God.” (Ecclesiastes 9:1)
The mere accumulation of possessions is not enough to fill the emptiness in one’s soul (it didn’t work for King Solomon). Expensive toys can never fill the God-shaped space in one’s heart.
We would do well to heed the wisdom of the Apostle Paul in Philippians Chapter 4: a life well-lived is one that is lived modestly. We should strive to be content in all circumstances.