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Secrets of Financial Contentment

Contentment is a daily decision about how you address your financial anxieties.


When I was a kid, my dad told me two stories all the time.

In the first one, a couple goes to Harvard University and asks to see the president, because they want to give a donation to the university. The president agrees to see them, but he doesn't know them, and because they're from somewhere way out west, he treats them curtly. After enduring the president's rudeness for a few moments, the woman finally turns to her husband and says, "Come, Leland; I think there are better things we can do with our money." The man was Leland Stanford, founder (with his wife) of Stanford University.

Even as a child, I understood that the moral of this story was not, "Be nice to strangers." Instead, this story is about who has real power. The moral is, "If you have money, you can tell anyone—even the most established, respected, or powerful person in the world—to go fly a kite."

The second story went like this: One day a minister was invited to John D. Rockefeller's mansion. As he drove up the winding drive lined with tall trees, he said, "My, my. This is what the Lord might have done—if he'd had the money."

As a child, I understood the moral of this story, too. The minister, who represents belief in God, is overwhelmed by Rockefeller's wealth. Not only that, he says God himself doesn't have as much money as Rockefeller. Implicit in this claim is that he doesn't have as much power, either. Rockefeller is more powerful than God, because money is more powerful than God.

The stories you hear from your parents as a child—especially the ones you hear over and over—plant a seed within you. What grew in my heart was a deep-rooted understanding that money meant independence. Money meant power—more power than ...

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Kevin Miller is pastor of Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois,

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Sermon Outline:


The Bible's perspective on contentment can bring freedom in your life.

I. The audience of the Book of Hebrews was experiencing persecution.

II. Contentment is possible.

III. Financial contentment is a decision about how to address our fear.