I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:10-13
In the business world you sometimes run into greedy people. People who, even when doing well, want just a little more. I have seen them short change a customer by less than $1 so they could pocket a few coins. Of course, sometimes it gets a lot bigger. I knew a manager of a very profitable business unit who let go of 10% of his employees just to eek out that much extra profit for the company and bonus for himself.
Come to think of it, greed is pretty common outside the business community. I have known students who weren’t satisfied with an “A” but fought to overturn a professor’s decision to raise their grade from 98% to 99%. I have had friends who, once they find out they aren’t paying for breakfast, will immediately order the most expensive thing on the menu. (Steak and eggs, anyone?)
Greed may just be part of the human condition. Many of us, if we’re honest, can name something we are greedy about. If it isn’t money it might be affection or time off or any number of things. Is there any way to avoid being greedy?
In our text for today, St. Paul says there is absolutely a way to live in complete contentment no matter our circumstances, but it is a secret. The secret, according to Paul, is to rely on Christ. Paul knew that Christ would provide for him. No matter what his circumstances appeared to be, the Lord was ready to give him the strength to overcome any situation on a moment’s notice.
You and I may not have much cash in our pockets, and feel tempted to grab all we can, but would you really be that invested in chasing pennies if you knew the wealth of the cosmos was available from your loving Father?
Our greed, no matter for what and no matter for how much, is like chasing crumbs while our Master waits for us to ask for the feast from His table. We, too, can live in contentment in any condition, through Him who gives us strength. Let’s put our trust and affection on our Heavenly Father, my friends, and leave the pocket change and crumbs to the world.