I have learned the secret of being content. (Phil. 4:12)

As a missionary in southern Africa, I had numerous opportunities to visit Christians in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zambia. What I realized from these visits was that contentment is not based on how much a person has, but on the attitude of the heart. During a week’s visit to Maputo, Mozambique, I stayed with a pastor whose house was made from corrugated iron sheets. It consisted of two rooms: a small bedroom and a room with an old rickety table and chairs that didn’t match. However, it was not the meager possessions that caught my attention that week. It was the joy and air of contentment that the pastor and his family had. He shared, “I may have little, worldly wise, but I have Jesus, What else do I really need?”

The following week I was in one of the South African townships. The home I was staying in was gorgeous. The furniture was some of the best a person could buy. However, the attitude of the homeowner was very different from that of the pastor in Mozambique. I could sense the discontentment. I remember the homeowner saying, “How can I truly be happy unless I have the things I was deprived of when I was a child? I want what my neighbors have. I am unhappy when I see them having more than I have.”

Do not expect to find contentment in your possessions, but in your Savior.

Jim “Umfundisi” Lo is the author of Connect with God: The Purpose of Prayer(WPH).