It may be a small book in the Bible, but it tells it like it is. Go James!
Friendship with the World
1Why do you fight and argue with each other? Isn’t it because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control your body? 2You want something you don’t have, and you will do anything to get it. You will even kill! But you still cannot get what you want, and you won’t get it by fighting and arguing. You should pray for it. 3Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons.
4You people aren’t faithful to God! Don’t you know that if you love the world, you are God’s enemies? And if you decide to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5Do you doubt the Scriptures that say, “God truly cares about the Spirit he has put in us”? [a]6In fact, God treats us with even greater kindness, just as the Scriptures say,
“God opposes everyone who is proud,
but he is kind to everyone who is humble.”
7Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you. 8Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can’t make up your mind. 9Be sad and sorry and weep. Stop laughing and start crying. Be gloomy instead of glad. 10Be humble in the Lord’s presence, and he will honor you.
Saying Cruel Things about Others
11My friends, don’t say cruel things about others! If you do, or if you condemn others, you are condemning God’s Law. And if you condemn the Law, you put yourself above the Law and refuse to obey either it 12or God who gave it. God is our judge, and he can save or destroy us. What right do you have to condemn anyone?
Warning against Bragging
13You should know better than to say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to the city. We will do business there for a year and make a lot of money!” 14What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears. 15You should say, “If the Lord lets us live, we will do these things.” 16Yet you are stupid enough to brag, and it is wrong to be so proud. 17If you don’t do what you know is right, you have sinned.
Source: BibleGateway.com (Contemporary English Version)
It’s not easy for some to be content with what they have. The desire to keep up with friends and family can consume us. Especially when those same people continue to succeed and are able to afford to live such lifestyles … OR when they can’t really afford it but rely on credit cards making it appear to others that they can. But that’s beside the point. The point is that we think, for some selfish and covetous reason, that we need such things in order to be happy and content.
We should just be still and realize that we can be content with much less. We truly can be content with fewer and less elaborate possessions. Homes don’t need to be decorated like display homes. Yards don’t need to be adorned with beautiful gardens. While visually pleasing, that shouldn’t be what we desire as a means of happiness and self-fulfillment. To live life believing that having such things proves your worthiness of living among a certain “class” of society is a such a falsehood. If that’s what it takes, then I’m not so sure I would want to live among that class.
In search of the humble and content class!