Be Content With What You Have

I love our children's ministry at church, though I do teeter on the brink of burnout. I'll just admit that. But sometimes the lessons are just as much for the adults as the children.

We do a large group format where the kids sit and have a lesson presented to them based on scripture. Then the kids break up into small groups to dig deeper and be shepherded by our awesome volunteers who commit to serve these kids for 9 months at a time.

Large group is usually funny, and zany. Our main teacher Brian, is hilarious, and can also send those key messages home and into little hearts ... with the "cross-training" of the holy spirit, of course. (this picture was from another lesson - about reading "recipes" to know that you don't put onions and pickle relish in donut batter just because you like those things on your hotdog. Don't ask me what the scripture was, I was too busy taking pictures.)

Anyway a few weeks ago, our lesson was based on the scripture, Heb 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."

The illustration was so funny. Brian played a greedy guy, and Lance, his buddy, got to absorb the lesson with being able to say "I am content with what I have" (with lots of help from the kids) when Brian presented himself with a king size candy bar, and Lance with a little fiber bar. Brian got a box of donuts, Lance got one. Brian got an iPod, Lance got a cd. And on and on.

Be content with what you have.
Be content with what you have.

For the parent volunteers in the room, it was a reminder of great scripture ammunition to take home!

"I want an iPod."
Be content with what you have.

"All of my friends have been to Disney World."
Be content with what you have.

"All of my friends have (wii, xbox360, trick bikes, shotguns, hunting leases, american girls AND accessories, every piece of Star Wars gear ever made)."
Be content with what you have.

"So and so has a cell phone."
(egad) Be content with what you have.

But really, this lesson went straight to my heart.

"Different house with a big yard and dogs (and maybe llamas)."
Be content with what you have?

"A vehicle that can safely leave the city limits."
Be content with what you have?

"Furniture that is not torn, not out of style and doesn't require slip covers to hide its ugliness and that HAS CUSHIONS THAT DO NOT SLIDE EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU SIT." (ahem. I'm okay).
Be content with what you have?

even "Highlights in my hair"
Be content with what you have?

Be content with what I have.

I don't think necessarily that just throwing that scripture at our kid's will take away their natural tendencies to want and want and want. Be content with what you have, BECAUSE the Bible says so, that's why.

Sometimes that doesn't even do it for my greedy heart.

We can add that God takes care of our daily needs and way much more.
We can talk about perspective - of the families we know that are broken, or the families we know that are here illegally and live in fear, people living in war zones, people who are lonely, the people who don't have anyTHING and people who have EVERYthing, except the joy of Jesus.

We can also let scripture truths reassure us that we are called to something higher and better, it's eternity with Jesus. And we are not to conform to the world, or live of it but in it.

Ultimately, that we TRUST God with what he gives us. And his plans to prosper us, not to harm us, and to give us hope and a future. And, to whom much is given, much is expected.