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Living In Contentment Not Determined By Money

I came across an article entitled, “New Standard For Financial Security in America: $186.000 Per Year.” The article was also aired on Fox News. Financial security, according to the article, is based on paying the bills, having some discretionary money left over, and money set aside for emergencies and retirement.

However, several questions were not addressed in this article. How much is excessive over the level of basic needs and bills? How many are living unnecessary extravagant lives? How many are purchasing very expensive motor homes and recreational vehicles? There is nothing wrong with these things, but the question to ask is, because of significant monthly obligations to pay them off, is it making it “necessary” to have more income? In other words, are the “wants” dictating the level of income, or is the income determining what one buys? Does the income have to catch up to the level of one’s desire to buy more and more? It is all based on material possessions! It could be said that this standard of $186,000 per year, in many cases, is brought on by one’s personal choices to buy more than is needed. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

This article pointed out that Americans have their eyes set on high incomes, even if it is an unrealistic goal that will never be obtained, which is causing stress. In contrast to this, Hebrews 13:5 warns to “keep your life free from the love of money…”  Wouldn’t it be less stressful to live a simple life not requiring a huge income than to keep adding on more and more, requiring a greater income? There is nothing wrong, of course, to desiring to make more money, but if it is attached to unrealistic goals that cause stress, is it really worth it?

Live like the words expressed in Philippians 4:12-13. “…I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content. I know how to be brought low and how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” According to the latest federal data, the median family income is between $51,500 and $86,000 per year. At that level it really is a struggle to make ends meet! However, don’t set unrealistic financial goals that cause stress. Try to be content with what you have. A report by Lending Club said, “as of January 2024, 60 percent of U.S. adults, including more than four in ten high-income consumers, live paycheck to paycheck(emphasis mine). High income consumers? How are they using their money? Clearly, achieving a standard of $186,000 per year is not obtainable by the average family.

Here are some words of wisdom from 1 Timothy 6:6-8“Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of the world. If we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”  This means to be content with the basic necessities of life.

Now here is a word to the rich in the world, in verse 6:17. “As for the rich in this present age, charge them …to not set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” Let God be your security and contentment instead of getting stressed out by seeking to make $186,000 per year!

About John Clark

John Livingston Clark is 74 years of age and lives in central Washington State. He has written two published books, and two published poems. His initial book is called, " God's Healing Hope: Breaking the Strongholds of Wrong Thinking." His second book, released in December of 2016, is a motivational book written to seniors titled, " Seniors: Are You Retiring or Recharging?" Both books are available on amazon. You can also view his writings on www.faithwriters.com. His “Poem For Senior Citizens” is in the 5th spot on FW.

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  1. Great article John.
    Yes I agree- “God is our contentment and great satisfaction” in all we are and do.
    Thank you for another good word.
    God Bless~

  2. J. D Rockefeller was asked once how much money is enough and he answered “Just a little bit more!” Enough is never enough and so the Bible warns us to be content with what we have. Thanks John for this article.

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