Every year, our church puts on a youth retreat for President's Day weekend. Last weekend we were blessed to once again have a successful and refreshing retreat. The classes were on the subject "Being Content in a World that is Not" and they were just what I needed to hear!
To kick the subject off, we talked about materialism and the way it makes us feel like we need stuff to measure up or even to be happy. Just take a quick look at Psalm 78:18-31 and you will see how upset God was when the Israelites complained that they didn't have enough. But think how all of us would probably be the exact same way as the Israelites! God might not give us everything we want but He will always give us enough.
Our speaker pointed out that materialism makes us less happy, less friendly, less empathetic, less grateful, less happy in relationships and causes us to feel less sense of purpose. As a believer, our goals should be totally opposite all those things! So really, materialism is hindering your spiritual goals!
On the other hand, contentment is a state of being that is related to happiness. It comes when we listen and obey to God. It comes when we accept a situation for what it is. It comes when we are satisfied with what we have and learn to have inner peace. Those things sound a whole lot better than what materialism brings.
Lastly, I will share with you this wonderful idea that our speaker quoted:
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.