In her latest missive to Ugandans, First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni preaches about the Power of Contentment, and we reproduce it below:
My dear friends, I would like to share with you my ruminations on the topic of contentment. The scriptures declare in 1 Timothy 6:6, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Does this mean that we should be resigned to our fate in life and not work actively to better our condition? No, far from it! The Bible is clear that God desires for us to prosper and to grow from one level of glory to another.
So what does godliness and contentment really mean? I will seek to answer that by looking at the opposite of contentment which is discontentment, or as the Bible puts it: covetousness.
My devotional today talked about the 10th commandment that says: “you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife or his male or a female servant, his ox or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” (Exodus 20:17).
It then went on to ask the question, “Have we ever stopped to think about that and apply it to our lives personally?”
To covet is to yearn to possess what does not belong to you. It is to desire for yourself what belongs to someone else. Do we yearn for the things that we see others have, whether they be families, children,
houses or land?
Covetousness is different from appreciating or seeking to emulate and learn from other people’s successes. This is right and as it should be. When we observe a successful person, we should study them and seek to learn more about the secrets behind their success so that we too can experience the same success in our
This principle applies to all areas of life whether it be spiritual growth, marriage, raising children, health, personal finance and business. Learning from the role models we have in our society is a good thing and the Bible even encourages us to do so. Paul adjourned the Corinthians to “imitate me even as I imitate Christ.” (1
Covetousness isn’t imitation and it isn’t seeking to learn from the successes of others. The example that comes to mind is a conversation I had recently with somebody who asked me if I liked traveling and what my favourite
My response was very clear that I didn’t particularly enjoy traveling outside Uganda and only did so when it was absolutely necessary and in relation to my work.
I added that my favorite place on earth is Uganda, and no matter how far I have traveled in the world, there is no place that compares to our homeland, Uganda.
Whenever I visit other countries, it reinforces my belief that God gave us the most beautiful place on earth to call our home. Our climate is ideal, akin to paradise and we do not experience the extremes of heat or cold that other countries experience.
Our food is fresh, easily available throughout the year and almost anything can grow in our fertile soils. Our people are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people in the world and foreigners who visit Uganda can attest to this.
Uganda is a gift from God, and to whom much is given much is expected (Luke 12:48).
Sadly, I know that my position is not shared by all Ugandans or Africans. I know that Africans are often the ones seeking all means possible to leave their homelands in order to go to other countries where they are often mistreated and face countless challenges and racism.
It always breaks my heart when I see the African migrants who are lured with promises of “greener pastures” risking their lives on the high seas only to be put in refugee camps when they arrive at their destinations or meet an even worse fate on the open seas!
This is a calamity and shouldn’t be so. Is it possible that our covetousness for what belongs to others is blinding us from seeing the wealth we already possess and working with dedication and diligence to develop what is already ours?
As I read my devotional about God’s commandment of not coveting what belongs to others, I wondered whether why Africans love to travel so much is perhaps because we covet what we see in other people's countries and, whether consciously or unconsciously, we yearn to possess what belongs to others.
I do not believe that this pleases God. We see the example in the Bible of the great King David who had so many blessings from God, power, authority, favour and spiritual intimacy with God. He already had many wives and children and could have anything he desired from God.
However, David sinned and coveted the one thing he couldn’t have - another man’s wife. In coveting Bathsheba and eventually killing her husband in order to cover his sin, he offended God and brought untold pain, suffering and judgment on himself and his family.
Covetousness brings no contentment to one’s heart; it is a trap that once gotten into may be difficult to get out of. Therefore, my encouragement to you all my friends and children, fellow Ugandans: let us not be blinded by coveting what doesn’t belong to us.
Let us instead focus on the countless blessings that God has already freely given to us and work hard to make our nation a praise in the earth. My prayer is that in the months and years to come, we Ugandans will work even harder to develop our homeland so that the light coming from Uganda will not be surpassed by any other nation.