Better a dry crust eaten in peace
than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.
(Proverbs 17:1, New Living Translation)

We live in a world where the temptation is constant to believe the amount of our wealth and possessions directly translates to our joy and happiness. The Bible, once again, confronts our culture and holds out another possibility. Namely, “better” does not imply “more,” “bigger,” or “expensive.” It suggests that the reason you still haven’t found what you are looking for is because you’ve been searching in all the wrong places. Wisdom opens our eyes and hearts to deeper wells of contentment.

A quiet home.

A simple meal.

A table, a few chairs, family and friends upon them.

A few moments of conversation and mutual encouragement.

“These words recommend family-love and peace, as conducing very much to the comfort of human life. Those that live in unity and quietness, not only free from jealousies and animosities, but vying in mutual endearments, and obliging to one another, live very comfortably, though they are low in the world, work hard and fare hard, though they have but each of them a morsel, and that a dry morsel. There may be peace and quietness where there are not three meals a day, provided there by a joint satisfaction in God’s providence and a mutual satisfaction in each other’s prudence. Holy love may be found in a cottage.”  
(Matthew Henry)

“Ponder every thought that may disturb contentment. If you have fewer comforts than you used to have, or fewer comforts than other people have, or fewer comforts than you desire, do you not still have more than you deserve? If you had more of them, would you not be tempted to forget God and to live in a worldly way? Does not the memory of the earthly lot that your Savior chose turn every thought about being discontented into adoration and gratitude? Do not forget that there is great gain in contentment.”
(Charles Bridges)

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. (The Apostle Paul, writing to his spiritual son, Timothy)


I am frequently tempted to rely on the things around me for my contentment, rather than who I know, the friends who love me, the One who saved me, and the Spirit inside me. Father, help me to see the riches of your kindness toward us in Christ, the riches of my glorious inheritance among the saints, the riches of your glory, the riches of a full understanding and knowledge of the mystery of Christ and the Good News, the riches of your grace, the riches of your peace, and the riches of a whole family that is mine because of my adoption made possible by Jesus. I am so wealthy!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And besides all this, there are high-quality clothes on my back, and more than a dry crust of bread in my belly—so let me be content.

Yes, and very amen, in Jesus’ name.

Pursuing the wise and good life with you,

Pastor Matthew

P.S. If you’d like to study some of the wisdom literature further, I highly recommend the Wisdom Series from The Bible Project, and their resources on the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs Thirty-One Day Reading Plan

August 14: Proverbs ch. 1

Aug. 15: ch. 2

Aug. 16: ch. 3

Aug. 17: ch. 4

Aug. 18: ch. 5

Aug. 19: Grace Day

Aug. 20: ch. 6

Aug. 21: ch. 7

Aug. 22: ch. 8

Aug. 23: ch. 9

Aug. 24: ch. 10

Aug. 25: ch. 11

Aug. 26: Grace Day

Aug. 27: ch. 12

Aug. 28: ch. 13

Aug. 29: ch. 14

Aug. 30: ch. 15

Aug. 31: ch. 16

Sept. 1: ch. 17

Sept. 2: Grace Day

Sept. 3: ch. 18

Sept. 4: ch. 19

Sept. 5: ch. 20

Sept. 6: ch. 21

Sept. 7: ch. 22

Sept. 8: ch. 23

Sept. 9: Grace Day

Sept. 10: ch. 24

Sept. 11: ch. 25

Sept. 12: ch. 26

Sept. 13: ch. 27

Sept. 14: ch. 28

Sept. 15: ch. 29

Sept. 16: Grace Day

Sept. 17: ch. 30

Sept. 18: ch. 31