Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.  

1 Timothy 6:6 

I love my children and enjoy spending time with them, but going to the store with them can be frustrating.  They ask for this and ask for that, often asking for things they already have or don’t really need.  Although I firmly tell them to stop asking, they continue to see things that, in their minds, they just have to have. 

My responses to their requests vary depending on the situation: Not today.  This isn’t a good time.  Maybe when you’re older.  That would be a good idea for your birthday or Christmas.  It costs too much.  You might think you want it, but I know you wouldn’t use it much.  You’ve already gotten a treat today.  We don’t need it. Certainly not if you’re going to whine about it. You don’t take care of what you have, why would I get you more?  You didn’t eat/use the last ones I got for you.  You need to learn to be content with what you have! And sometimes the answer is simply ‘no’, and I offer no explanation.  

After one of our shopping trips I came home unhappy about them always having the ‘gimmes’ and was concerned about them constantly wanting more when we have so much already.  Do they not appreciate what they have?  Are they not grateful for all their dad and I provide for them?  Evidently they don’t realize how fortunate they are.  How did they get to be this way?  Their dad and I aren’t like this!  Or are we….?

As I was convicting my children, God began convicting me.  I started thinking about the things I whined about to God and the wish list of ‘gimmes’ I often greeted Him with in prayer.  Then an interesting thing happened.  As I recalled the various things I’d been wanting, I started hearing God giving me the same responses I’d been giving my children.  Things like:  Not now, maybe later.  You’re not ready for that yet.  You don’t take care of what you have, why would I give you more?  You think you want that, but I know it won’t really be of interest to you.  I can’t justify the cost right now.  You need to be content with what you have!  And just like with my kids, sometimes His answer is simply ‘no’ without explanation. 

My, was I humbled!  Then another interesting thing happened.  I started understanding situations better and appreciating things more.  I actually felt contentment with what I had – and was fine about what I didn’t have – knowing God was looking out for my best interest in these matters just like I look out for my children’s best interest.  In fact, I even began to feel good about the times He’d told me ‘no’.  My ‘gimmes’ were gone! 

Dear Lord, Thank you for being a Father who loves us enough to say ‘no’ and to look out for our best interests. Please forgive me for the times I must have seemed greedy and unappreciative to You.  Help me to do my best with what I have, continue to be content with what I have, and not to want more than what is proper for me to have.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen. 

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