I read an old story the other day about a Jewish man who went to his rabbi and complained, “Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?” The rabbi answered, “Take your dogs into the room with you.” The man was incredulous, but the rabbi insisted, “Do as I say and come back in a week.”
A week later the man returned looking more distraught than before. “We can’t stand it,” he told the rabbi. “The dogs are filthy, unruly, loud and obnoxious.” The rabbi said, “Go home and bring your two goats into the room as well. Then, come back in a week.”
A week later the man returned and said, “It’s horrible! The stench. The dirt. The noise. What do I do now?” The rabbi said, “Go home and put your dogs and goats out of your room and come back to see me in a week.”
A week later the man returned, radiant, exclaiming, “Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that the dogs and the goats are gone and it’s just the nine of us again.”
Discontentment is a powerful force and, in many regards, it rules the world. Because of this, contentment is illusive and difficult to maintain. But Paul, writing to the Philippians, said He had learned a SECRET about contentment.
That’s what I’m going to be talking about this coming Sunday. I hope you’ll take the time to read our text before you get to church. It’s found in Philippians 4:11-13.