8 February 2022

Proverbs 27:20

Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and never satisfied are the eyes of man.

The grave is never satisfied. No matter how many bodies it receives, it is always craving for more. So are the eyes of man, as advertisers know well. No matter what a person may have, when he sees something desirable, he craves it and will spend himself into deep debt or turn to wicked ways to obtain it. He cannot be satisfied.

Tolstoy illustrates this truth well in his short story, “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” The peasant Pahom keeps moving, keeps acquiring more land, until it leads to his death. “If I had…” drives him to acquire and acquire, never being satisfied.

It is a fine balance between desiring to improve our lot and obtaining contentment. Because our eyes see what we could obtain if we labor diligently, we work hard and produce good fruit. But it is easier than we realize to step off that fine line and become gluttoness. Balance is what we need, and it is what we cannot attain as long as we are not contented in the love of Christ. That seems a cliché but it is a profound truth that few have known.

The Apostle Paul knew it and learned to be content in every circumstance (Philippians 4:12). Oddly enough, his very contentment in Christ led him to be extremely ambitious in his life’s service. Is there a connection between contentment in what is of true value and motivation to achieve? That may be a good thought to contemplate today. In what are you contented? What motivates you? How do they relate? Knowing that answer may be the difference between restless craving and true fulfillment.