Today’s Scripture: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. JamesĀ 1:17-18

In the book What’s Worth Knowing, by Wendy Lustbader, a woman named Maxine Dougherty, age 81, has advice for the younger generation: Things you buy won’t make you happy. She said, “My mother never stood for any whining. If I wanted a certain pair of shoes or a special dress I’d seen in a shop window, she’d say, ‘You think that will make you happy? Then save your money and go out and get it.’ So, I’d save and save for the longest time and then go get myself that pair of shoes or that dress. I’d feel so good when I first bought it but after a few days, the thrill would be gone, and I was already planning my next shopping expedition.

“I can tell you now my mother was right, but it took me so many years and so much money down the drain before I stopped trying to prove her wrong. You just don’t find happiness through buying things-not for long, anyway.”

The Bible has great advice for people who want to lead contented, satisfied and fulfilled lives. It simply says, “Be content with such things as you have.” Maybe you envy another person’s looks or their bubbling personality. You minimize your own gifts and say things like, “If I could just look like so-and-so, I know I’d be a better person.” Accept Maxine’s words today. Be content with what you have.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder