I don’t know if y’all have heard, but apparently our nation is in the midst of some economic turmoil. You don’t hear that much about it unless you happen to read the news, have a conversation with someone, or leave your house, but it’s true. The economy has fallen and it can’t get up.
So, let me tell you about the new pair of jeans I bought on Thursday. I found them on sale at The Rack and just had to have them. They fit so great and were such a good deal. Plus, they have cute back pockets that flap over and I’ve been dying to have some cute back pockets that flap over. I hugged them to my body as I walked up to the cash register while whispering, “You complete me”.
The only problem was that as soon as I got in the car I felt guilty for buying them. To be honest, as much as I tried to justify in my head that I NEEDED them, the six other pairs of jeans in my closet would beg to differ.
And, thus, they are going back to the store this week. Hopefully, they’ll find a good home with some girl who knows how to love and care for cute back pockets that flap over.
My guilt over my jeans purchase went deeper than the fact that I really shouldn’t be spending the money. Yes, that’s definitely part of it since we have no idea how long this recession is going to last and need to be wise with our finances, but something else was making me feel that deep-down yuck in my stomach. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was, but I knew it wasn’t insecurity about the pocket placement on the jeans because that was perfection.
Then yesterday morning, we went to church. The sermon was about being content.
And I realized that was the heart of the jean issue for me, lack of contentment. As much as I am content in some ways, there are other areas where I am so quick to overlook the blessings I have been given because I am always looking for the next thing, whatever that may be.
When I came back from my Compassion trip to the Dominican Republic, my heart was changed. There is something about standing in a shack and hearing a woman tell you that she has all she needs because she has Jesus that gives you some clear perspective. It challenged me to question if I could say that same thing, but even more than that it made me want to live that kind of life. A life that doesn’t get so bogged down in all the things I want and instead focuses on what I have, because, unequivocally, I have more than I deserve.
Honestly, I am ashamed at how often I forget that.
I’m not saying I’ll never buy another pair of jeans again because that would be a lie. The truth is that if God ever gets me to a point where I look in my closet and say I have all I could ever want, then He will have worked a miracle akin to parting the Red Sea.
But last night I looked over the photos of all the sweet faces that I fell in love with in the Dominican and thought about how so many of them had joy and peace that we just don’t really see in our neighborhoods and schools. It made me think of a quote by Benjamin Franklin, “Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.”
(That’s right. I just quoted Benjamin Franklin. Apparently I used to read more than People magazine.)
I want to be that kind of rich. A rich that says I have all I need, in spite of a world that tells me I need so much more.
“…give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” Proverbs 30: 7-9
The other benefit to contentment is it makes you want to reach out to those who really are in need. If you’d like to sponsor a child through Compassion, you can click here or on the graphic below to go to the sponsorship page. It doesn’t have to be a child from the Dominican Republic, there are thousands of kids everywhere whose lives could be changed for just $32.00 a month.