I’ve heard this saying rather often in the secular world as well, especially amongst people of the older generation. It originated from the Bible, and is very similar to Job’s desperate cry of worship in Job 1:21 – Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart – albeit less poetic. In the Christian context it reminds us that we are citizens of God’s Kingdom, and whatever we possess today in this worldly realm – be it our possessions, our relationships, our prestige, knowledge or wealth – cannot be brought over to the spiritual realm. The worldly view of this popular saying is often a defeatist sentiment – since everything is over and gone when we die, what’s the point of doing so much now? But the Christian view of this is one of immense hope – we will have everything in eternality, why be so hung up over the material possessions of today?
Contentment: We already have more than what we had
We came to this world without anything; most of us were given things immediately upon birth – names, status, titles, expectations, health, wealth, love etc. Along the way we gain so much more than what we originally had, and yet we continue to madly pursue more, so to the point of obsession. When in difficult times, remember that we cannot be worse off than when we first came to this world – naked, without knowledge, without faith, penniless. When bitter about failures, be grateful about what you already have, and learn to cherish them.
Contentment: We cannot keep what we have
Psalms 49:7 says for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him. We cannot keep our assets after death. Even if you are a CEO in this world, you can’t keep your title in the heavenly realm. Your wealth in this world doesn’t translate to a better robe in God’s kingdom. The time to die will come, and the time to give up all our worldly possessions will come. Do not be too attached to the material, for all things will pass.
Contentment: We will have so much more than what we have
Godly people should be contented with what they already have, especially the salvation and the eternal hope given us. With the promise of eternal life, this life is in contrast short and temporary. With the blessing of salvation, we need not be disheartened by the things we fail to have in this life. In God’s kingdom, we will not be judged by our worldly fame or wealth. We will be in want for nothing. We will lack nothing. There will be no trials and tribulations, only joy in God’s glory.
Contentment is very hard to achieve. When you are unsatisfied with life, remember that you came to this world with nothing at all and be comforted. When you are unsatisfied with life, remember that this life is temporal and you have hope in God’s promise of eternal life. This, however, is not an excuse for mediocrity. It is not an excuse to be lazy. We’re sent to the fields by God, and we have work to do for the Lord’s kingdom. Let us seek to strive harder for God’s kingdom and stop worrying about the worldly things. As long as we have food and clothing(1 Tim 6:8), we can be content.