With Christmas just around the corner, people are busy with the merriment that comes with the holiday season. There are gifts to be purchased, and of course, there is the ever-present time sensitive demand of decorating to be done. Though the first Christmas was a humble affair, today’s holiday celebrations have grown to be of epic proportions. Long gone for many are the simple joys of the season and in their place are stress, pressure, and overwhelming financial commitments. Many families succumb to feelings of hopelessness and depression, feeling unable to keep pace with what others around them are doing at Christmastime. In the midst of all of the preparations for the big day, it is wise to take time to reflect on the age-old question—do money and presents buy peace and contentment?
Is there a connection between money, presents, and true contentment?
In today’s world that places a high emphasis on the accumulation of material goods and wealth, it can become far to easy to begin to equate peace with these things. But true contentment cannot be purchased, and it is not found in the latest device, gadget, car, or house.
In Ecclesiastes 5:10, Solomon tells us:
“He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver;
Nor he who loves abundance, with increase.
This also is vanity.”
Solomon was both the richest and the wisest man alive. Yet the book of Ecclesiastes abounds with warnings against seeking peace in wealth or belongings. Solomon was quick to discover that loving money was an empty pleasure. Those who love money soon find out that having money isn’t enough to fill the hole inside their hearts. Having a little money leads to an overwhelming desire to accumulate more. Even with vast reserves of money in the bank, it is never enough; the owner of the accumulated wealth is driven to continue to amass more; often working long hours and neglecting both their health and their family in the process. It is a vain pursuit that does not bring joy. We need money to live, but money will not bring peace and contentment.
In Proverbs 23:4-5, we are admonished to:
“Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.”
Money is only temporal at best. Many people invest their money into stocks in the hopes of reaping a high return on their investment. Still, others try their hand at casino games or lottery tickets, hoping they will become the next great get rich story. The truth is money is spent and lost far more quickly than it is earned. Money will not last. We cannot take it with us when we go, and it can all be taken away from us in the blink of an eye. Money cannot be counted on, and our main goal in life should not be the constant pursuit of amassing wealth.
Proverbs 11:28 says:
“He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like foliage.”
We should not put our faith, trust, and hope in money. It cannot save us, and it does not bring us contentment, peace, or joy. It is only a temporal pleasure, and it cannot be held onto, no matter how careful or tight a grip we exert.
In Matthew 6:19-21, Matthew tells us to:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
For the believer, our treasures are not of this earth. Instead of being focused on acquiring a storehouse of “things,” we should set our sights on doing God’s work while here on the earth. We are not preparing for an eternity’s stay in this sinful world. We are only here for a short time. We cannot take with us the things we buy to make our lives more comfortable while here on this earth. Nor will our bank accounts follow us to heaven. However, the souls we have won to Christ through faithful and consistent witnessing for Him are treasures which can be laid up for us in heaven for us to place at the feet of our Saviour. The world can take away our money, and thieves can break into our homes and steal our most prized possessions. But the things we do for our Lord are added to our heavenly account and can never be taken away. They are the things that bring us true and lasting joy. Peace and contentment are found in serving Jesus.
Isaiah 26:3 tells us:
“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”
The formula for true peace and contentment is quite simple. It is found in keeping our minds, thoughts, and hearts trained on pleasing our Lord. As we draw near to Him through the study of His Word, He guides our hearts and feet to the steps that lead to the peace that can only be found in a close relationship with Him.
Are you struggling with trying to find peace and contentment? Contact Westside today, call (902) 567-2181 or visit our Sunday service to learn more about experiencing true joy in Jesus. We welcome the opportunity to help you.