Society is a bored, gluttonous king employing a court jester to divert it after an overindulgent meal. - Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
There is a numbness associated with living in an affluent society. We are to a degree detached from reality. There has been no time in human history where people have lived like we do on such a broad scale. While many of us have our struggles, most of us live way beyond the poverty line into the territory of Maslow's self actualization.
But most of us still want more.
The reason is because our standard of living is relative. When we reach one echelon of affluence, we immediately look up toward the next one. This is a journey with no end. There is no prize for victory, and there is little reward in this in this endless upward struggle.
A 2010 article in Time magazine reported (referring to the findings of a study done by Princeton university):
"Past research on money and happiness has also found that it's not absolute wealth that's linked with happiness, but relative wealth or status — that is, how much more money you have than your neighbors."
This is a spiritual issue. It is not about lifestyle or circumstance. It is not merely about being happy with what you have, though that is important. The issue is whether or not real contentment is possible. If it is, then it will only be found when we find that which satisfies the longing of our heart. We know that money and possessions do not fully satisfy.
This world is passing away. We are passing away. What will remain? What is worth hoping in? What is worth hoping in is that which will not rust, decay, or die. We must trust our hope to that which is secure and benevolent. We must trust our hope to that which has the power to satisfy.
That leaves us with one option: Jesus.
Jesus offers contentment to us right here, right now. Not after our next paycheck or our next raise or Christmas – right now. It is called shalom, a peace which surpasses all understanding. It is available to us all if we will seek it in Christ.
Find your contentment in Jesus, and remember:
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." - Hebrews 13:5