Hold Your Blessings with an Open Hand
By Rick Warren
“There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it” (1 Timothy 6:6-7 NRSV).
God is more interested in your character than your comfort. He’s not going to give you things if you haven’t learned the principle of contentment first.
Contentment is not a lack of ambition. It’s not a lack of goals. Contentment means your happiness doesn’t depend on your circumstances.
How do you eliminate discontent? You eliminate the cause: comparing. We compare everything in this country — lawns, cars, husbands and wives, clothes, the education of our kids (we even put “My Kid Was Student of the Month” on car bumpers).
Whenever you compare, you’re going to become discontent. You’ve got to learn to stop comparing yourself to others.
Paul says in Philippians 4:12a, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (NIV). Contentment does not come naturally; it is something we have to learn. If we do this, God promises to meet all our financial needs.
One of the greatest secrets in learning to be content is to realize that you don’t really own anything. It’s all on loan to you for about 80 years! You didn’t bring a single thing into this world, and you’re not going to carry anything out of it, either. You just get to use it while you’re here on earth. The Bible calls that stewardship. You are the manager or steward of what God allows you to have while you’re here, but it’s not really yours. When you understand that you’re just a manager of the blessings God allows in your life and you hold them with an open hand, you won’t be uptight about losing them.
So what if you lose things? God can turn off one faucet and turn on another just as easily. Learn to be content, because things don’t last. God is more interested in your character than your comfort.
Talk It Over
Practically speaking, what does it mean to hold God’s blessings with an open hand?
Make it a goal today to be conscious of the ways you compare yourself to others. What can you do differently when you’re tempted to compare?
What does it mean to be a steward of something? What are you a steward of here on earth?
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It doesn't matter how much you work out or how healthy you may eat, if you're not feeding and exercising your spirit… you're going to feel run down and tired – you’ll run out of gas. You’ve got to do more than just take care of your body. You’ve got to energize your spirit! And the best way to do that is with God’s Word! That’s why we’ve put together this new interactive guide called Re-Energize Your Life!
In this first-of-its-kind guide, created from Pastor Rick’s most practical teaching, you will learn everything you need to know to re-energize your life the way God intended. Step by step, you will begin a journey of restoration and renewal. It’s a hands-on guide you take at your own pace. No need to rush! In fact, we encourage you to stop and linger where you want to spend more time. You’ll benefit from biblical wisdom and learn how to apply it to your life in practical ways.
This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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