“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11).
“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (I Timothy 6:8).
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
A person is rich when his wants and his haves equal thus any one can choose or decide to be rich at any given moment in time. If you want what you do not have you are poor! You may have a million dollars, but if you want two million dollars you are not rich. You may have a ten-dollar bill, but if all you want is ten dollars you are rich.
When your haves and your wants are equal you are a wealthy individual. In this generation of credit card mania and of bankruptcies we have the poorest of the poor not because of what one has, but want one wants that he or she does not have.
No one should buy what one cannot pay for! I advise young couples not to have a credit card at all. A lot of these folks will enjoy life at the moment, but will not be enjoying life a few years from now. Many of God’s people are using up life too quickly. We are in essence stealing tomorrows happiness.
People are attempting to bypass pain and struggle and the combination of both is financial disaster. This generation is using up life and there will be nothing left for their future. The more the struggle the more the happiness! Struggle first enjoyment second! Pain first pleasure second!
Young people ought to travel and see their part of the country first then go to the Rocky Mountains or Washington D. C. We are teaching the wrong priorities of life when we see the world before we see our immediate world. Always save for later on in life! Happy people are people who save up life and dole it out to themselves gradually.
“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4).
This Scripture is one of the most misunderstood Scriptures in the Bible. The average person says, “If you delight yourself in the Lord He will give you what you want.” That is just not true! If you will delight in the Lord He will help you to desire what you should desire; or desires begin to change because you delight in the Lord.
“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5). When the Lord gives you what to want then he gives you what you want!
EXAMPLE OF FRIENDSHIP
A friend turns on you whom you thought was a friend. Now, he should not become your enemy because he ceased to be your friend. The truth is a real friend loveth at all times.
- First a friend turns on me and forsakes me
- Second I will continue to be a friend to him
- Third I withdraw my appetite for his friendship
- Fourth I am satisfied being his friend without him being mine
I cannot control his level of friendship, but I can control my level of appetite for that friendship. If my appetite and ability to fulfill are the same I am a rich man thus my wants and haves are equal. I adjust my wants to the level of my haves; so I have no unsatisfied appetites.
Physical or temporal happiness is when you have no unsatisfied appetite when your haves equal your wants. The secret to this balancing of the equation is called the will. If you have the will to adjust your wants to the level of your haves you will be a rich and happy person.
If a friend turns on you then you can decide to be there to help in case he ever needs you, but you can also decide to adjust your appetite for his friendship. You can decide to not accept a friendship that is withdrawn from you. God never commands you to do anything without providing the wherewithal for you to do it through your will.
EXAMPLE OF BUYING
Our first house was about 800 square feet. It cost $7,000. Our payment was $75 a month including taxes and insurance. Mrs. Gray and I decided to never talk about another house until we could afford to talk about it.
What were we doing? We were saying we willed to not allow our wants to be stimulated beyond our haves. I knew how much it would take to in order to be able to buy a bigger house. So, we decided to want what we have. Our haves equaled our wants and we were rich.
Soon, a new job came. Then raises began to come. A promotion came. Then one day we started looking at bigger houses. What were we doing? We opened up our appetites only enough to equal our haves. We refused to go look at another house out of our price range. We did not want our wants to be tempted. We bought a house on Webster Street in the same town for $10,000 and again our haves our wants.
Unhappy people are those whose wants are greater than their haves. The contented, the happy, and the rich are those whose wants equal their haves.
EXAMPLE OF HEALTH
When Mrs. Gray and I first were married, she was an amazingly active person. Anything she wanted to do physically she did. Healthy and strong physically, but when we first came to Longview, Texas, in 1980 she stepped off of the back patio and our lives were changed forever.
She splintered her ankle. It was perplexing! The doctor’s could not explain what was happening to her bones. It would be fifteen years later before they discovered the root of her problem. She was told that she had the bone density of an ninety year old.
She has had over forty surgeries, as of the writing of this article, with problem after problem physically, but no bitterness. What have we done? We have adjusted our wants to equal our haves.
We are not going to pout about it because we don’t have; we shout over what we do have. Our children are grown and we have ten grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Our lives have been altered. We are unable to do what we dreamed of doing in our later years. However, we have what we want. Please pay attention to this whether it be friendships, house, or health you can will to adjust your wants to equal your haves.
EXAMPLE OF FINANCES
General Motors’ Fisher Body Division in Kalamazoo, Michigan, employed me and we had built a two-story colonial 2,800 square foot house. I had what was referred to as class “A” discounts on new cars as a benefit. I was making $20,000 a year and that was a lot in the early seventies.
I surrendered to full time service. We sold our new house, packed up our furniture and belongings, took our family, and then moved to beautiful Gary, Indiana. I enrolled in Bible College. My first job after we moved was for $2.65 an hour at an Eagle Food Store in Munster, Indiana. Wow, what an adjustment, but we were as happy as hog on ice. Do you know why, because we adjusted our want to our haves?
The prosperous life is when you want what you have and have what you want! How can people take a vacation when they cannot afford it; because your appetite is greater than your budge or what you have to spend?
You dear married couples you do not need what it took your mother and dad thirty years ago to attain. Our children come back to visit and Karen said one time to us, “Hey, you have real butter! How come?” Our answer is simple, “We can afford it now!”
- Quit looking at things you cannot afford
- Take better care of what you have
- Decide today to want what you have today
- Always adjust your wants to your haves not your haves to your wants
- Only by delighting in the Lord can wants be adjusted
- Never entertain wants until the haves say, “Yes”