Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Contentment is wealth

"The real things haven't changed. It is still bet to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong."--Laura Ingalls Wilder

I love this quote by Laura Ingalls Wilder because it sums up how I endeavor to live my life and because over 100 years later, this remains a timeless truth. More is more is not necessarily true in every situation; sometimes less is more and because of this many have begun to embrace the minimalist lifestyle. You can read more about minimalism here, here, and here. Of course, like many movements and lifestyles, there is much variation along the spectrum. 

As we journey to become debt-free, I have found that minimizing in some areas and learning to be content with simple pleasures are THE BEST ways to experience true wealth.  My parents demonstrated this beautifully. They both grew up poor in rural Alabama and in their adulthood moved North where they acquired factory jobs that allowed them a lifestyle that they could only imagine as children. They were able to provide music lessons, basketball shoes, the latest fashions and travel experiences to the nation's capital and each coast of our vast country, and although they each had their own luxury purchases at times, they lived simply. Later, they were able to buy a second home in their beloved Alabama, travel more and even take a cruise! However, they were still content to take a walk  around the block after dinner, eat produce grown in their own garden, line dry laundry and accept hand-me-down clothing. 

My father died 10 years ago. After his funeral, I was impressed and deeply touched by the number of people that he and my mother were able to help financially. They bailed the sons of single moms out of jail, kept people's homes from going into foreclosure, provided meals and paid utility bills-all this by two unassuming people with a modest income and only a high school education between them. 

I believe that wealth can buy a lot of things, good things even, but it can never provide the contentment that is found only in Christ. The Bible asks, "What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). The parable of the the rich fool aptly illustrates the fate of those consumed with acquiring wealth to the detriment of their souls. This is a sober warning that I am to use money wisely and to love God with all my heart, soul and mind will keep me from falling prey to the love of money which is, as the Bible says, "the root of all evil."(1 Timothy 6:10)


  1. I came across Laura Ingalls Wilder's quote earlier today. It resonated with me too. With so many things vying for my attention, I am in a constant state of pursuing Him. Less has been definitely more in my life. The more that has been removed, the more I am able to enjoy all that is left.

  2. Yes. The real things haven't changed and the more we remove the more we have. There is a verse(I can't remember the book. Corinthians?), but it says, "having nothing, yet possessing all things." Sometimes, the very things we treasure and chase after can become like a chain.