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 (Manna 11)
Contentment Leads to Happiness
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Contentment Leads to Happiness

Jack and Jill are friends. Each has a different outlook towards money. Both of them have a dollar each in their pockets. Jack said, “Thank God, I still have a dollar in my pocket.” But Jill said, “Too bad, I have only one dollar left in my pocket! What should I do?”

Though both of them have a dollar each in their pockets, their feelings can be vastly different. Jack’s concept of life is optimistic. His thinking is progressive, full of hope; whereas Jill’s concept of life is very pessimistic. She feels hopeless and desolate. The strength of Jack’s optimism lies in his contentment on all things. On the other hand, Jill’s pessimism is due to the dissatisfaction with all things.

There is no absolute measure for wealth; no one knows exactly when he is considered a rich man. This depends on the individual’s thinking. The Bible tells us that those who always desire more will never ever be satisfied. Those who are not contented always feel empty in their hearts (Eccl 5:20). Only those who are contented will achieve satisfaction and a sense of tranquillity.

“Be content with what you have…”  (Heb 13:5). Attitudes towards possessions: money or talents can be quite different. The amount of money we have decides the kinds of businesses we undertake. But there are people who desire to operate big businesses even though they do not have large capital. They borrow. If their businesses fail, they declare bankruptcy. This will not only bring hardship to themselves but also imposes misery to others. Certainly it is not uncommon for a businessman to borrow money to finance his business, but a contented person keeps it under control. In terms of talent, those who are less talented can only handle small jobs and to those who are more talented can shoulder heavier responsibilities. But, there are some who are less-versatile who want to tackle big jobs despite their limitations. These people are just like the small limbs of a grasshopper pushing a big-wheel, their great effort not meeting with any result. They are headed for failure. Though it is true that we must do everything with the best of our ability, we must admit that there are limitations to our endeavours and things beyond our capabilities.

Some may ask this question, “If all the people in the world were to believe in Jesus and all the people were contented, what would happen to the world then? How can it progress?” The answer is obvious. Contentment is not antagonistic to progress; rather it is to do our work within our capabilities while using the best of our abilities. We can then neatly expect to achieve something. This would in turn lead to happiness.

To greed is human while contentment is the result of relentless effort of spiritual perseverance. As Paul puts it, he could be contented in whatever circumstance. He has learned this lesson well in Christ (Phil 4:11).

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