Saturday, November 23, 2013

Proverbs 23:1-8- Being Happy Right Where You Are

Proverbs 23-1 When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, 2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. 3 Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. 4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. 5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. 6 Do not eat the food of a stingy man, do not crave his delicacies; 7 for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost. "Eat and drink," he says to you, but his heart is not with you. 8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten and will have wasted your compliments.

This passage has two extreme sides painted of the same issue; lack of contentment  with where you are right now.  First we are told that we need to be careful of desiring the "delicacies" of rulers(contextually--those who have more than you) because it is actually deceiving.  And when you have it, it is not what you had hoped for, and, you have exhausted yourself to try to obtain it.

On the other hand, we have avoiding the table of a "stingy man".  The picture painted here is someone who is so overly concerned with being "frugal" that they are incapable of enjoying that which they do have. 

These two extremes are at the heart of our personal frustration with the "Now" in our life.  Either we are desiring for more than we currently have and it consumes us.  Or, we are so concerned with losing what we already have, that we don't enjoy it.  We covet and we hoard.  They are the same heart issue. 

God's promise is that He is the source of our happiness.  And what you have at this very moment is a source of hope and blessing in your life.  The kind that He knows you need for this very moment.  When we covet and hoard we live in the discontent of a lack of trust and hope. 

God's perfect plan for our future is beyond our utmost abilities to conceptualize.  To try to "imagine" or "day dream" things that we want(or don't want to lose), and to dwell on them causes us to lose focus on God Himself and become dissatisfied with who we are(and what we have) right now.

Finding happiness is not about changing our situation, but celebrating where God has us at this very moment.  When we move from envy and worry to gratitude and faithfulness, we will discover that happiness was there all along. 

To read more similar thoughts check out my earlier post here.  Also, a good a sermon on coveting is here.

Update:  Link to a recent sermon I preached on this topic is here

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