August 28 “Money without peace & contentment”

money in handMoney without peace, contentment, and someone to share it with truly is futility. And if we take it for granted or live like there is no tomorrow, we may find we are working only to give it away or wake up and find it all gone.

Today’s Readings:
Ecclesiastes 4-6
Psalm 102.18-28
Proverbs 24.5-6
1 Corinthians 9.1-27

Ecclesiastes 4-6:

Money without peace & contentment

In this portion of Ecclesiastes, Solomon begins talking about the futility of money for money’s sake.

Better a handful with quietness 
Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind (4.6).

What good is an abundance of money with no peace or contentment?

There is one alone, without companion:
He has neither son nor brother.
Yet there is no end to all his labors,
Nor is his eye satisfied with riches.
But he never asks,
“For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?”
This also is vanity and a grave misfortune (4.8).

What good is much success and no one to share it with?

Chapter 5 also warns us to be careful with our words.

“Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?” (5.6).

How easy it is to let our mouths get us in trouble!

There is also a warning against discontent and greed. Look at verse 10 in the New Living Translation:

Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! (5.10).

And chapter 6 warns against taking the blessings of God for granted.

2 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction (6.2)

We might say it this way: it’s better to find peace and contentment with a modest income than to be constantly working to pay a huge mortgage and trying to keep our heads above water, while appearing to “have it all.”

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God blesses us so we can be a blessing, not so we can hoard it, use it strictly for our own pleasure, lord it over others, or get proud and boastful. 1 Corinthians 4.7 says:

7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

As God provides for us, let’s pray for the wisdom to use it wisely. If we take it for granted and live like there is no tomorrow we may wake up and find it all gone. Continue reading