It initially seems like a cruel joke. Poor children in Atlanta, many of whom are in families that cannot afford to buy a Christmas tree, are brought into a building. Each child is seated alone in a chair behind a table. An adult conducts an interview separately asking each child what they hope to get this Christmas. Next the children are asked what they think their parents might like. After this information is received, the adult brings in two packages. When the children open the first package it contains the gift they hoped to receive. When they open the second present it is what the parent would have wanted. As wonderment fills juvenile eyes, a catch is sprung—each child can only choose one of the two gifts.
Surprise, sadness, resignation, or disappointment momentarily flashes across the transparent young faces. I thought for sure some of the children would opt for toys. Not one did. When asked why he picked the gift for his parent, one little boy said, “Because legos don’t matter, your family matters.” Seasoned perspective freely flowed from youthful mouths.
In the end, the children were praised for their selflessness and in a heart-warming conclusion, told they could keep each gift. Imagine the joy and tears that flowed in the eyes of honored parents when given two gifts—one of substance and one of sacrifice.
1 Timothy 6:6-8—But godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. But if we have food and clothing we will be content with these.
Legos don’t matter. True contentment is not the temporary acquisition of what we want; it is the eternal appreciation for what we have. Children made to choose realized that toys were nice but even greater was the opportunity to bless those who served for their continued betterment. Our family matters.
How content are we? Do we chase after pleasure at the expense of being pleased? Do we think our worth is somehow measured by the amount of our possessions? Or do we thank God for the basics of life and exhale a steady stream of praise? What is our definition of “a great gain?”
Godliness comes by conformity to God’s will. To be pious and to live like He lives requires a constant slaying of all that enriches me at the expense of loving Him. It is not easy to be content—just read or listen to the news each day for a quick recognition of dissatisfaction. Yet, what should incredibly matter is the fantastic gift of life that God’s grace, extended through Jesus, presents us. Be content with the hope heaven extends not the hype earth pretends. Rest in redemption and the joy that we will be restored to perfection. The Messiah came to save us—choosing our benefit over His comfort. His contentment contained a cross. Legos don’t matter, Logos matters.
Contentment is not measured by what we have contentment is measured by what we don’t have.—Unknown
©2016 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)