Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own. Luke 12:15
Screech got his nickname from the noise he made whenever he skidded his bike to a stop. He was so obsessed with money that he would speed down the road, darting to examine every shiny thing that might be a coin—and every scrap of paper that looked like a dollar bill.
Screech knew how to work hard too. Between a paper route, baby-sitting, and caddying at a golf course, he had a lot of money. And with the money he raked in, he could buy almost anything his twelve-year-old heart desired.
Unfortunately, when Screech made it his biggest goal in life to pile up money, he didn’t have any time left for family, friends, or church. So even though his pockets bulged with cash, he had no one to enjoy it with. Screech thought that buying things would bring him total happiness, but it didn’t.
What’s on your wish list? What sports equipment or clothes or toys would stuff you full? Is it possible that you could ever get everything on your wish list and not want anything more? Or would you just start a bigger list?
In the Bible, Paul sounds like a man who had it made. He had what it takes to be happy. In one Bible book—his letter to the Philippians—he mentions joy or rejoicing seventeen times!
But wait a minute! Looking again at that book shows that Paul was in prison when he wrote all those words about joy and happiness (see Philippians 1:12-14). He had no comfortable home, few possessions, and no freedom. But he was happy. Later in his letter he wrote, “I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need” (Philippians 4:11-13).
Happiness doesn’t depend on stuffing ourselves with stuff. As a matter of fact, real joy has nothing to do with how much we have. We can be joyful-whether we’re wealthy or needy-because we have Jesus. We can’t lose him. He can’t be stolen. He never breaks or goes out of style. And knowing him can give us joy that no mere object can bring.
TALK: How happy are you with what you have? Is Christ your most prized possession?
PRAY: Jesus, teach us to be content with what we have. And help us realize how great it is to have you.
ACT: Instead of thinking only about all the things you wish you had, pick out a toy, book, or piece of clothing and give it to someone who has less than you do.