Wealth and Contentment (or Lack Thereof)

“The one who loves silver will not be satisfied by silver and the one who loves abundance will not produce enough; this also is vanity. With many good things there are many ones who will consume them. What profit is it to the owner if he only sees it with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of the worker if he eats little or much. The sufficiency of the rich will not let him rest in it or to sleep.”

(Ecclesiastes 5:9-11 {5:10-12 in English Bibles})

“But there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world nor will we be able to take anything away from it. If we have food and clothing, this is enough. But the one who desires to be rich will fall into temptation, a trap, and longings for many foolish and harmful things which sinks men into ruin and destruction. For the root of all evil is the love of money. It is through this desire that certain ones have been led astray from the faith and have pierced themselves with many sorrows.”

(1 Timothy 6:6-10)

Both Solomon and the Apostle Paul write much the same thing here…the love of money brings ruin. For Paul, it is the root of all evil because it leads people into all sorts of sins and temptations. For Solomon, the emphasis is that it cannot bring contentment. Those who love silver and wealth will never find their contentment in their silver and in their wealth. They think that they will be satisfied when they get to this level or to that level, but when they arrive at that goal, the heart is as hollow as it has always been.

One of the themes that we find Solomon repeatedly coming back to is this idea of finding satisfaction in the things of this world — it is vanity. It will never suffice. We are designed to find our satisfaction and contentment only in one place…and that is in God himself through his Son, Jesus Christ. For the Christian believer, this becomes realized and for the non-Christian, a life of discontentment only becomes realized in its fullness when they find themselves enduring God’s wrath in Hell for all eternity — a place not only of hopelessness and torment, but also a place that is devoid even of the hope of future contentment. It is the saddest of all estates and then infinitely worse.

And not only does discontentment multiply with the accumulation of wealth, Solomon also points out that the more you accrue, the more people you have around you seeking to leech off of your resources. In many cases, the health comes and goes so quickly that all you can do is see the wealth passing by. And without contentment, sleep is fleeting and restless. Indeed, God gives his beloved sleep (Psalm 127:2). And, as Paul says, those who have been led down this path have found a life of many sorrows. And isn’t it sad how many people buy into the lies that come along with the “prosperity gospel.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.