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Credit cards, contentment and burned down houses

January 25, 2012
 |  by Krista

Credit cards, contentment and burned down houses

Recently, Rob and the kids came down with some kind of nasty cough and fever bug. So on Saturday, we decided to do “church at home” the following morning. I was wiped from being up with crazy coughers all week, so I slept in. When I did manage to crawl out of bed, Rob was scribbling furiously at the kitchen table with his Bible open beside him. My curiosity was piqued.

When “church time” rolled around, we discovered that he had been paraphrasing verses so five-year-old Jess could actually do the readings all by herself. She was thrilled! It made her feel very grown up and involved. So, as listed in “Gifts from God” in the Bible Stories section, she read 1 Timothy 6: 6-10, 17-18.

We ended up having a fabulous discussion about credit cards and overspending. Our kids love real-life examples, so I told them about a woman I used to know who got herself into a lot of hot water because of her love of clothes and the fact that she wasn’t content with what she had. We linked that with the idea that if we don’t have the money for something, maybe we shouldn’t buy it. It would be better to hold off until we saved enough or perhaps decide we don’t need the item after all. Ben and Jess nodded emphatically.

Then we talked about folks who think that fat bank accounts or lots of possessions will make them happy. We piggybacked on the story of Solomon (“Who or What Owns Your Heart?”) and how his foreign wives and great wealth pulled him away from God. The kids were impressed that he finally figured out that NOTHING is as valuable as a right relationship with the Lord and an attitude of contentment.

To drive home the point about things being insignificant in the big picture, we asked Ben and Jess how they would feel if our house and garage burned down that night. What if we escaped the fire with nothing but our pajamas? Their eyes went wide at the thought and we could hear the wheels whirring in their little heads. “Nothing?” “Yep. Not a thing. All your toys, books, stuffies, clothes . . . everything would be gone.”

The idea stung, but slowly they realized that our family, friends and neighbours would probably pull together to provide us with essentials: food and clothing. And God will always be with us. Our quote from The Contentedness Challenge came back loud and clear: “If I have food and clothing and God, I can be content.”

It feels like this lesson is wrapping our hearts in layers – kind of like “contentedness piñatas” with the treasure inside! Rather than enormous AHA! moments, God is gently forming a substantial understanding of personal satisfaction by using thin, silky coatings – building one on top of the other for durability. Keep those layers coming!

Related Lesson: Contentedness