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The Key to Finding Contentment

“There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess.”

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We came into the world with nothing and we will go out of the world with nothing.

There may not be a better premise for allowing us to live in complete and total joy in life, if we can understand and embrace it.

The problem is that people agree with this premise in principle because it’s undeniable. When you’re born you have nothing. When you die, no matter how much you had in the seconds before your death, you have nothing again. And yet we spend the entirety of the time in between those two momentsclamoring for wealth and possessions.

Below is one of my favorite quotes of all time. It comes from the great Christian pastor and author, AW Tozer.

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“There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets `things’ with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns `my’ and `mine’ look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.”

The answer to this is found written in the book of Philippians, chapter 4, verses 11 through 13. The words of the apostle Paul:

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (As a sidenote, notice verse 13 at the very end there. This is the verse that most people quote when they talk about starting a business or competing in an athletic match. It really has nothing to do with that. When Paul says that we can do all things through Christ, it is in direct context to being able to be content and to live with much or with little.)

I myself have had a lot and very little. I’ve lived in tiny apartments and converted two car garages. I’ve lived on an estate on 10 acres with a half a mile of riverfront, a 500 foot brick and wrought iron front fence, swimming pool and an 1800 bottle wine cellar. I’ve driven beat up all cars across the country and I’ve flown in private airplanes. I’ve stayed in a little roadside motels and I’ve stayed in the swankiest suites in the world. I have found myself wondering how I would make it to the end of the month and I have found myself wondering how I could ever spend all that money. I know what it means to have a little and I know what it means to have an abundance.

And yet joy should never come from what we have. Life has a strange way of ebbing and flowing. I’ve known poor people who are happy and have a joy that most people long for, and I’ve known wealthy people, people with more money than they could spend in 10 lifetimes, who lack joy, peace and love.

Why do we spend so much time on accumulating money and possessions when we all know when we step back from it for even just a moment that those are not the answers at all?

When I hear a poor person lamenting that they wish they had more, I hear someone who doesn’t understand that they came into the world with nothing. When I hear a wealthy person bragging about their wealth, I hear a person who doesn’t understand that he or she will go out of the world with nothing.

Either way, it is a complete missing of the point. Life isn’t about abundance in possessions. It’s about abundance in love, grace, mercy, joy, and hope.

In Luke 12:15, Jesus says, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

I know that I have a lot of people reading this and that they come from a wide variety of financial situations. If you are poor or suffering hardship right now, that’s OK. Trust in God and find love. If you are wealthy and you’re reading this, that’s great, but don’t place your hope in the things of this world. Trust in God and find love.

You came from nothing and you’re on a journey to nothing. We often think that it is on the other side of death that we meet and commune with God but the reality is is that we can meet and commune with God right now.

That’s why “nothingness” is irrelevant, because in God there is everything. From a worldly perspective, we are on a journey from nothing to nothing, but from a godly perspective we are on a journey from everything to everything.

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Chris is the Founder of PolitiCrossing, one of the World's Top 50 Speakers and a member of the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame. He considers it a privilege to be able to speak to people, help them lead successful lives, become extraordinary leaders and, masterful salespeople. Chris has authored twenty-three books with three million copies in print in 14 languages and over 450 articles on success, leadership, sales and motivation.



 
 
 

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Faith

The Left Is Fueling a New Racism

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It’s my firm belief that the number of Americans holding racist views is small, whether white, black, or Hispanic. At this point in our history, the vast majority of Americans try to live up to the challenge delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. We keep moving toward the hard-fought dream he envisioned of an America where a citizen’s character would mean more than the color of their skin.

We are a different country today. I’ve presented leadership programs to hundreds of companies over the last 40 years. I’ve seen the work they’ve done to embrace diversity and advance capable employees and leaders from all races. Many minority members have advanced and earned their rightful place in making this great American economy work. At a time we should be celebrating and furthering our progress, our American culture is under attack from the left. Angry race-baiters are doing everything they can to increase our racial divide through pushing the 1619 Project, CRT, and BLM. They make extreme racist claims with a clear goal—to expand the government gravy train that only racial “victims” can justify.

I lived in pre-civil rights Atlanta where there were separate schools, separate bathrooms, and the baseball team was the Atlanta Crackers! Today, it’s more likely that leftist blacks are the ones who want separate schools, separate rights, and special reparations for their race.

As one anonymous post asserted, “Only in America can an ethnic group of black awareness month, black holiday, black only colleges, black only dating sites, and black only bars and clubs…and turn around and call everyone else racists!” You don’t have to look far to find evidence of extreme black racist demands.

In California, the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee released a report calling on the city to pay every qualifying black California resident $5 million and absolve them of their outstanding personal debt. This is madness. California was a free state and did not condone slavery, but the committee is doing all it can to justify reparations: “While neither San Francisco, nor California, formally adopted the institution of chattel slavery, the tenets of segregation, white supremacy and systematic repression and exclusion of Black people were codified through legal and extralegal actions, social codes, and judicial enforcement.” To the left, this “failure” warrants millions of innocent California citizens being forced to pay higher taxes to fund exorbitant benefits to one race they haven’t abused in any way.

In Washington, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) is proposing a law that could codify black racism in America. There is a common mantra in her political speeches: White America is defined by institutional racism, systemic racism, white supremacy, and white nationalism. She attacks “white” America and seems to see the clan in the face of every white citizen. Such general attacks are evidence of a new racism—black racism.

Read for yourself Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s proposed law, the Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023. The legislation promises to criminalize criticism of any minority that is subsequently used to incite anybody else to commit a hate crime. The law reads: “A conspiracy to engage in white supremacy inspired hate crimes shall be determined to exist between two or more persons, at least one of whom published material advancing white supremacy, white supremacist ideology, antagonism based on ‘replacement theory,’ or hate speech that vilifies or is otherwise directed against any non-White person or group could, as determined by a reasonable person, motivate actions by a person predisposed to engaging in a white supremacy inspired crime.”

This is a chilling attack on freedom of speech against one race—caucasians. In short, if you criticize a minority and another person states that your statement was all the motivation needed to do a hate crime, you may be jailed because your criticism “motivated” a hate crime you did not commit. Get the message—be silent and conform or we will put you away.

Black racism is real and just as evil as white racism. Both must be soundly rejected by responsible citizens. As a Christian, I affirm my Savior’s claim that all God’s children matter! No responsible citizen should be shamed into silence by the irresponsible racist attacks of the left. Be proud of yourself and of America. Whether black, brown or white, success as a small business person or advancement as a good employee had to be earned by hard work, long hours, and diligent sacrifice. As with Americans for generations, it was not handed to you. You didn’t depend on government handouts to get ahead, you had to find a way to earn your own American Dream.

Reparations will never happen! Politicians can’t even afford to fund the entitlements they’ve already promised. Special black racist demands are unethical, divisive, and risk fueling a new racism backlash. Politicians from the left keep making the promises to fuel racist anger and secure special interest donations and votes.

Don’t fall for their racist rants and demands. Depending on government entitlements is never the answer. Instead, get busy following the models and learning from citizens of all races who have made America work for themselves and their families.

Let’s reclaim the American Dream Martin Luther King, Jr. affirmed. Do not judge a fellow citizen by the color of their skin. Celebrate the character of the vast majority of good American citizens you meet. Keep rejecting racism of any kind. It’s time to stand proud and applaud hard work and success wherever we find it, no matter what the race. May it always be so in this great republic we treasure…America!

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Faith

Tired? Hopeless? Discouraged? Read This.

I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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Want to Influence like Jesus? You can! Click here for Jesus: Master of Influence.

I get it. Many people are feeling tired, hopeless, and discouraged. Life is tough and the past few years have been really tough. But there is hope. Take some time to read slowly through this familiar passage. Focus on it. Claim the truths for yourself. Refocus your mind onto the truth of God rather than the problems of the world:

Psalm 23

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1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (He gives us everything we need with generosity)

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, (He brings us to a peaceful place)

3 he refreshes my soul. (He invigorates my spirit)
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake. (He takes me to where I need to go)

4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; (When evil is present, God is right there with me)
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. (He brings comfort to us)

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies. (When my enemy is ready to fight, God is ready)
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. (Abundance is mine)

6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life, (God’s love for you is eternal and never-ending)
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (The promise of heaven is real for us)

Aren’t these great promises? Focus prayerfully on them today!

What would you do if you only had one year to live? This book asks that question. Click here.

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