Saturday, December 22, 2007

Being Content

So here it is. I have figured it out. Advertising, and all marketing for that matter, teaches us that we are unhappy. We may not know it, but we cannot be satisfied unless we have the latest gadget, wear the best designer clothes and wash with the best smelling soap. It is the job of the Madison Avenue gurus to tell us this. They want us to be happy, and to attain that end, they must show us how unhappy we are.

Now when we come to this realization, we grow unhappy. There are problems with this of course. It is impossible for us to ever be truly happy if we equate happiness with possessions or acquisitions. As soon as we acquire all the things that we are told will make us happy, there is a whole new series of advertisements for new gadgets, clothes and soaps. It is a never-ending cycle of chase the happiness carrot.

And so now, a few days before Christmas, the marketing has reached a fever pitch. And now we all realize, somewhat unhappily, that we will not receive every gift that we want. We cannot afford every item that will make us happy. What should we do? Can we ever be happy? Will we ever attain personal fulfillment?

There is a passage in the Bible that summarizes what is the best approach to this difficulty. Philippians 4.11 says, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." This is not a promise that we will get everything we want. It does not even mean that the one who follows God will have no problems in life. No, the significance here is much greater than both of thoughts.

When we find our life in Christ, we do not need to rely on temporal things to be happy or fulfilled. We can, and should be, content with the blessings of God and the things that he has given us. There can be no better Christmas than to be content with the things of God.

Merry Christmas to you!

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