When you look at yourself now and at your surroundings, are you happy with what you have right now? For anyone, the automatic answer would be a big, resounding YES! But once another person comes along who supposedly has the better life – bigger house, better opportunities, and so on, we think twice about the state of our own lives. That’s a problem. We say that we are happy with have we now until another person comes in who’s got more than what we have.
For modern Christian churches in Dubai and all over the world, this has been one of the most important topics of discussion. Here in Mosaic Church, we see that the problem might be that people forgot to be content, and without it, no one will ever be satisfied with their lives.
Every journey starts with a realization. In relation to being content, it starts with realizing that when you look at yourself in the mirror, you feel indifferent. You look at your reflection and you don’t see the face that you once loved. You don’t hate it, you just despise the idea that you feel there’s something about your features that is lacking. You start comparing physical and mental qualities between yourself and other people. Like what Andy Stanley says in his sermon on The Land of Er, this is because you hate the fact that you can never be as ________as them, whatever the basis of your comparison is.
“And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of one another.” – Ecclesiastes 4:4 NIV
People are naturally driven by competition. We see another person’s clothing and we want it. We see someone with a branded bag and we want it. As one can see from the passage, this is something that is not new. We have been at each other’s throats for years, aching to rise above the other. We base our condition on how others are faring.
“Better one handful with tranquility than handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.”- Ecclesiastes 4:6 NIV
Be content with what one hand can hold. You might be asking, “Why not two hands? With two hands I can have more!”. You will never be satisfied with what you have. You will always thirst, grapple, and yearn for more. The reason it is better to have just one hand full than two is to teach your heart to be satisfied, because it will never know peace if it’s constantly bombarded with wants.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” – Ecclesiastes 4:8 NIV
We are constantly working to the point that we are robotic with hardly any time for ourselves. One day we stop and ask, “Well why am I even working? I’m not exactly happy with myself”. It is because you look around you and see that this is what they are doing too. “Oh, they are working hard? I must work harder!”
Pause. Look around. Then stop and enjoy yourself. Remember, there is no win in competition.
Are you allowing yourself to be influenced by what people have that you don’t? Is it keeping you from enjoying your life and be discontent? By making yourself unhappy you are also making the people are you unhappy. Now they too are questioning if they are enough for you. Be happy with what is enough. Be happy with the now. Be happy with the present you.