Do you “feel” financially independent? (meaning you rely on only your own resources to provide for your needs) Many strive for this, but I do not think it is even possible. I’ve witnessed too many clients over the years strive to get to some financial “horizon” that they believe will make them feel secure or independent, but once they get there, a new standard is suddenly created. Financial independence is a moving target, but it is always possible to feel content. With all that bombards us today through internet, TV, magazines, and movies, it is extremely hard to be content.
In this post, we’ll explore three revealing questions about your money and possessions and the five barriers to contentment.
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have…” Hebrews 13:5
Think about what you have. What is precious to you? Don’t leave out your kids, spouse, cars, golf clubs or vacation property. What do you value highly?
I believe the question of contentment begins with what we place high value on because anything that we value higher than Jesus will keep us from being content. It is not just about money or possessions. If you value your spouse higher than Jesus, you will always at some point be disappointed because they are only human with their own issues, weaknesses and needs. If we value our children higher than Jesus, we will at some point be disappointed and discouraged – even liable of ruining their lives.
Do you recognize that all is owned by the Lord, not by you? He owns all for two reasons: 1) He created all, and 2) because Jesus died on the cross to redeem all. As we consider the three important stewardship questions in a person’s financial life, we can see that Hebrews 13:5 speaks to us.
1. Who owns it?
2. How much is enough?
3. Is the next steward prepared to receive it?
How much is enough? The answer is found in Hebrews 13:5. What I have already is enough!
Also, it is interesting to note that Philippians 4:11-13 begins with Paul’s story of contentment and ends with the familiar verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The context is that we can be content through Christ who strengthens us.
There are five barriers to Contentment:
- Spiritual: Lack of understanding that God owns it all and lack of spiritual maturity.
- Cultural: Constant messages of scarcity and materialism that tempts us to want more and envy those that have more.
- Emotional: Money is a loaded scorecard of power, security, and independence.
- Personal: Financial decisions based on external influencers rather than internal convictions.
- Relational: Absence of community to encourage us to be content with what we have. People of similar belief and commitment that can be a comfort and support.
There are three beliefs that can help you get beyond the barriers to contentment:
- I have a generous God, and I am grateful for what He has given me.
- Money is a tool to provide for my needs and the needs of others, and my life purpose should be to be an agent in God’s Kingdom.
- I have to cultivate contentment by first having a peace of mind with all that I can change and releasing what I can’t.
This is a journey, and it is one that we have to sort through continuously. All will face different tensions and pressures at different times.
Download the following contentment tensions map to help assess how content you are today.
Free Download: Contentment Tensions Map
Are you content? Use this contentment map by Kingdom Advisors as the beginning of a bigger conversation that you have with your spouse or with the Lord about where you stand in light of the opportunity to experience greater contentment. This tool is not designed to be an assessment, but rather a conversation starter and a tool that begins to open doors to greater levels of contentment in your roles, relationships, and financial decisions.