A dog was crossing over a bridge while carrying a piece of meat in his mouth. As he crossed the bridge, he happened to notice his reflection in the water. Not knowing any better, the dog thought that his reflection was another dog, who was also carrying a piece of meat. Now to the dog on the bridge, the other dog’s piece of meat looked twice as big as his own piece, so he decided to he had to have that piece. He dropped his piece of meat and fiercely attacked the other dog. Of course, he only ended up wet and lost his own piece of meat which was carried away by the stream.
This story, from Aesop’s Fables, speaks about contentment. The moral of the story is, “Be satisfied with what you have.” God’s Word has much to say about the subject of contentment, which means being satisfied with what we have in life. It is a state of mind in which our desires basically line up with what we have, with our lot in life. True contentment is not based on how much money we have. It is not based on how many things we possess, or what we do for a living (Ecclesiastes 5:10). True contentment comes from God (Psalm 17:15).
When we take our satisfaction, our contentment, from God, and seek to live godly lives, the combination of godliness and contentment brings us great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). There is a saying that goes, “You can’t take it with you,” which reflects the words of 1 Timothy 6:7. This passage tells us that we came into the world with nothing and we cannot take anything out of the world. When we die, wealth and possessions do not come with us. But, God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Jesus said that He will be with us always (Matthew 28:20).
The things of the world – money, possessions, status – are temporary, but God is eternal. We should be content with what we have and not look to store up earthly treasures, which are destroyed by rust and moths, or stolen by thieves. Rather, we should seek the things of God, and store up heavenly treasures which are rust-proof, moth-proof, and theft-proof (Matthew 6:19-20). When we do this, we will experience true contentment.