Pursue the Virtue of Contentment
by Max Lucado
A businessman bought popcorn from an old street vendor each day after lunch. He once arrived to find the peddler closing up his stand at noon. “Is something wrong?” he asked.
A smile wrinkled the seller’s leathery face. “By no means. All is well.”
“Then why are you closing your popcorn stand?”
“So I can go to my house, sit on my porch, and sip tea with my wife.”
The man of commerce objected. “But the day is still young. You can still sell.”
“No need to,” the stand owner replied. “I’ve made enough money for today.”
“Enough? Absurd. You should keep working.”
The spry old man stopped and stared at his well-dressed visitor. “And why should I keep working?”
“To sell more popcorn.”
“And why sell more popcorn?”
“Because the more popcorn you sell, the more money you make. The more money you make, the richer you are. The richer you are, the more popcorn stands you can buy. The more popcorn stands you buy, the more peddlers sell your product, and the richer you become. And when you have enough, you can stop working, sell your popcorn stands, stay home, and sit on the porch with your wife and drink tea.”
The popcorn man smiled. “I can do that today. I guess I have enough.”
Wise was the one who wrote, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income” (Eccles. 5:10 NIV).
Don’t heed greed.
Greed makes a poor job counselor.
Greed has a growling stomach. Feed it, and you risk more than budget-busting debt. You risk losing purpose. Greed can seduce you out of your sweet spot.
Before you change your job title, examine your perspective toward life. Success is not defined by position or pay scale but by this: doing the most what you do the best.
Parents, give that counsel to your kids. Tell them to do what they love to do so well that someone pays them to do it.
Spouses, urge your mate to choose satisfaction over salary. Better to be married to a happy person who has a thin wallet than a miserable person with a thick one. Besides, “a pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life” (Prov. 13:7 MSG).
Pursue the virtue of contentment. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6 NIV). When choosing or changing jobs, be careful. Consult your design. Consult your Designer. But never consult your greed.
From Cure for the Common Life
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2006) Max Lucado