LIVE LARGER WITH LESS.
Today I want to talk to you about the one word that is KEY to living blessed not stressed. One word. An elusive word. A difficult word to master. A difficult word to live by. But one word that changes the trajectory and happiness of your life. One word that allows you to be blessed with more, without it being stolen by stress.
Jesus said Matt 6 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”
In other words it’s the quality of your life that matters. It’s about living blessed not stressed.
Paul writes to Timothy and says I’ve learned living blessed and not stressed. Remember I’ve been through everything you could imagine, but I’ve realized the secret is contentment.
1 TIM 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Contentment is not the word we think it means which means to settle down. Contentment means to get more bang for your buck. It means to gain more than just money or possessions.
Contentment: Greek word autarkeia
1) a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed. It means to be blessed not stressed!
“Until you make peace with who you are, you will never be content with what you have.” ~Doris Mortman
In the 6th chapter of Paul’s letter to Timothy there is a detailed explanation about the enemy of the blessed life. It’s the stressed life that is consumed with consuming.
1 Timothy 6:5,6 These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But Godliness with contentment is great gain. 9 -10 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Now godliness combined with contentment brings great profit.
A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have.
But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment.
The greek word for GAIN is the word PORISMOS. It’s a very uncommon noun and only used 2 x in the whole of the NT. And both times it appears in verse 5 and verse 6 of 2 Timothy 6. In verse 5, the word PORISMOS means financial gain and it’s obvious from the text. ‘some think that godliness is a means to financial gain.’
Then in verse 6 it says, but Timothy please understand something. Godliness with Contentment is GREAT GAIN. The word PORISMOS is used here too. What Paul is saying, is if you will get it the right way around. If you will seek Godliness and contentment, first you won’t be stressed, but even more your will be blessed not stressed. And it includes great gains financially, relationally, emotionally and spiritually.
Contentment is the great protector against greed, and against the love of money. Contentment stops you being a slave to Mammon. Contentment with godliness Paul says leads to great gains. If we are going to get ahead in life and in deed live blessed not stressed, then we have to aim to be contented. To be Godly, means you have put Jesus first and you trust him with all your heart and to be contented means you aren’t LONGING for stuff. You aren’t longing or pinning your satisfaction of achieving a certain status. You have realized that he is the all sufficient one. The longing and striving is gone. Can you say that about yourself.
WHY IT IS SUCH A GREAT WAY OF LIFE.
Because you are able to live larger and lose less. Because you aren’t longing, living and a slave to GAINING stuff, you lose less.
You lose less time trying to keep pace with everything.
You lose less money to banks and credit cards in continual interest payments.
You lose less sleep and have more energy because you aren’t chasing everything and trying to keep up.
You have less stress because you aren’t worrying so much. You aren’t so tired. You have less stress therefore less arguments therefore less conflicts. You have less frustration.
When you are content, you have more time to be creative and do more for others.
The greatest thing stopping God’s blessing sticking to your lives is Godliness and contentment.
Because we don’t live content most of our blessing is lost in
a) Bank interest
c) Comparing what we have to what others have
d) Working harder to keep up with the repayments
e) Unnecessary effort.
SO HOW DO WE LIVE CONTENTED LIVES. BLESSED NOT STRESSED.
1. Stop looking at the lack you have
You can choose life, or you can choose to chase after your lack.
Luke 12: 14 “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Start looking at life, and not the lack. When you are focused on your lack, you completely miss life. What does it profit you or materially gain you if gain the whole world but lose your marriage, lose your kids, lose your faith, lose your joy, lose you peace.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
eg; Have you noticed you are doing fine, until you compare yourself to others. They have a man, they have a woman, they have more time. They have a better job.
3. Develop a thankful attitude.
4. Focus on accumulating not acquisition
God’s blessing is on you. You can’t stop God’s blessing. Nobody can stop God blessing you. The only thing that can, is stressing. Stressing ruins the blessing. Stressing is messing up the blessing.
Over the years we haven’t got wealthy, but we have accumulated things. Making small incremental moves forward. Sometimes failing, often getting it right. Accumulation is God’s plan of sustainable wealth creation and contentment.
5. Create Margins
Is 5:8 Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.
NB: Many of us want to give so that lives can be changed, but you are choked by your lifestyle. It’s time to downsize so you can include God in your life FULLY.
6. Be content with what you have, but never with what you are.
Never stop learning, growing, or discovering. Take pride in your person and the progress that you have made, but never become so content that you cannot find room for improvement. Contentment is not the same as complacency. As soon as you stop growing, you start dying.
What are you going to do for Jesus this next 3 months? Thanksgiving for me this year was about looking at all the times I encouraged people and changed their lives with my smiles and my words.