Hebrews 13:5“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’”

The Christmas season is over until next year. How are you doing?

Now that we have come through the holiday of giving and getting, it is time to take inventory … not of the gifts we received, but of our attitude towards those gifts.

It is always so much fun to think and plan out our surprises for loved ones. Some creative people make their gifts, while others brave the shopping malls or frequent online stores to find the perfect something. Each giver hopes that the receiver will be happy with their gift, but sadly that is not always the case. Soon after the big day is over the stores open again announcing the newest specials, and many make the trip back to return, exchange, or take advantage of the big sales.

While I have no problem with cashing in on a good price, I wonder when enough is enough. Often having more is not better; it’s just more to keep track of. In the book of Hebrews God reminds us to be content with what we have. When we are constantly thinking about the next thing, we can be assured there is a problem in our hearts. The searching and longing for that final thing to satisfy our deepest desires will never be found in a shopping mall or online store.

According to psychologist and author Dr. Henry Cloud, only ten percent of a person’s happiness comes from external things such as Christmas gifts, a bigger salary, or other material things. And even when those things bring us great excitement, it is usually only momentary. The joy they produce will start to fade over time – our new clothes shrink, the expensive toy breaks, and the new technology becomes outdated.

The things that are the most satisfying are good relationships. And God reminds us that we can live in perfect contentment because, despite our circumstances, He will never leave us nor forsake us. His presence will fill us with joy throughout the year and His wisdom, power, and love will meet our deepest needs.

So how are you doing? Has the excitement you had last week when you gave and opened Christmas gifts started to fade? Are you thinking about what else you might want to have? Instead, why don’t you consider the greatest gift you could ever receive: God’s presence. Keep your character free of the love of money and be content with what you have! After all, when the money runs out and all the gadgets have been put into a drawer and forgotten, God will still be there. He will never leave you nor forsake you! — Love Mama


By Sandra Sheridan

Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.