POINTS TO PONDER

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Siddharta Gautama, known better as Buddha (483-400 BC) a monk and well-known teacher in India and Nepal was quoted as saying: “Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” It is obvious that these are all things that money cannot buy nor can wealth guarantee. When anyone attempts to purchase these things, they will only get imitations.

Psychologists and trainers all tell us that no matter who you are, what your goal is and how you define success, one thing holds true: a healthy body and mind is essential if you want to lead a truly successful life. Even the most influential motivational speakers and business tycoons know that when they get sick they lack the energy and enthusiasm to stay involved with their work.

But Buddha calls it a gift. By that he no doubt meant that while we can maintain good health, it comes to us at birth. At first our parents are responsible for keeping us in good health. But eventually it falls into our hands to continue on. Without this, it will be hard to gain any contentment. Yes, disease may invade our bodies, but we are not always culpable.

But even greater is contentment. Contentment means a feeling of calm satisfaction. One way of achieving satisfaction in life is to separate your needs from wants. As we have been taught, human wants are insatiable. Contentment is not about getting what you want but the ability to enjoy what you have. Be content enough with the person you are so that you seek ways to develop yourself. further You are not in competition with anybody but yourself. Get ahead of yourself, and stop worrying about what others are thinking about you or want you to be. You were not created to be like everybody else! As someone once said: “Contentment will make a pauper act like a prince.

And then comes faithfulness. Faithfulness is built on trust. What does trust mean? Trusting someone means that you think they are reliable, you have confidence in them and you feel safe with them physically and emotionally. Trust is something that two people in a relationship can build together when they decide to have confidence in each other. You can’t demand or buy trust; trusting someone is a choice that you make. But faithfulness to such trust does not come quickly or easily. Building faithfulness requires mutual commitment. The more faithful we are, the more faithful they will become.

When the Bible speaks about good health, it talks about what we take in to maintain our wellness. That’s not only food, but what we see, hear, have interest in. King Solomon says that we should never become egotistical about what we know or think, but have reverence and respect for the Lord and stay away from evil. If you do this, it will be like a refreshing drink and medicine for your body.1 And in another place he says that being optimistic is good medicine, but when we become pessimistic, it will sap our strength.2

And the Apostle Paul asked the Corinthians, don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body…. whatever you do, whether it’s eating or drinking or anything else, do it all so as to bring glory to God.3

And when it comes to contentment, King David told his people to trust in the Lord and do what’s good. Work with what you’ve been blessed with and be dependable and reliable. Enjoy serving the Lord, and He will see to it that you will be given more.4 Jesus no doubt knew of this Scripture, so He told His followers that what they should want most is being part of God’s kingdom and doing what He wants them to do. Then He will give them all the other things you need.5

So the Apostle Paul tells the Philippians that he knew what it was to survive on almost nothing or love with everything. He learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For he was able to do it all with the help of Jesus who gave him the strength.6 And to young Timothy Paul wrote that godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.7

But the Word of God also talks about faithfulness. But mostly, God’s faithfulness. That His blessings are new every morning. He does not use leftovers from yesterday nor does He borrow from tomorrow, they are freshly delivered every day.8 Without faithfulness to God there can be no Christian life. Christianity is based first on faith that God is faithful, then, that through Christ Jesus we can be forgiven and are saved. Our faithfulness is a commitment to adhere to the One God who is true and supreme and to follow His will.

What are the benefits of faithfulness to God? Here are some of the things I read:

To some, perhaps the most beneficial aspect of faithfulness to God would include the fact that the faithful will not suffer God’s judgment. Until our judgment day, there are many other benefits while we are here on earth.

  • Psalm 37:28 – “For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.” (NIV)
  • Proverbs 3:1-2 – “My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.” (NLT)
  • Proverbs 16:6-7 – “Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the reverence of the Lord evil is avoided. When the Lord takes pleasure in the way people live, He causes their enemies to make peace with them.”
  • Proverbs 28:20a – “A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”
  • Revelation 2:10 – “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (NKJV)

So we can see that faithfulness is based on one’s trustworthiness. It is ironic that on all U.S., currency the words, “In God We Trust” are stamped or printed. We know that we can trust God, but I’m not sure God can trust us as a nation.

So in response to what Buddha said about good health, contentment, and faithfulness, once a person has all three, then life can become pleasant. But they all three must be genuine, otherwise, like many imitations, they will stop working, the paint will begin to peel, and the veneer will start to fall off. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

1 Proverbs 3:7-8

2 Ibid. 17:22

3 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 10:31

4 Psalm 37:3-4

5 Matthew 6:33

6 Philippians 4:12-13

7 1 Timothy 6:6-7

8 Lamentations 3:23

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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