Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.
Haman was having a great day. He had been the only one chosen by the queen to go with the king to a special banquet, and he was feeling pretty good about himself. His prideful heart was being satisfied with recognition, attention and special favor. And with his ego fed and watered, he went happily on his way. But then there was that one thorn in his side: Mordecai the Jew and his continuing refusal to show him any reverence.
Haman didn’t have a bad life. He was top in the kingdom, second only to the king. He had a wife, a family, friends, a home and was pretty wealthy. He wanted for nothing, really. He had the praise of men. He had stuff. He had position. But somehow that wasn’t good enough for him. No matter how full his life was otherwise, he was also full of pride and vengeance. He was full of hate and indignation. Really, he was pretty full of himself.
Can we see the danger in living like Haman? Can we see how it will ultimately get us nowhere to want more and more for ourselves and only for ourselves? Can we see how harmful it is to carry around so much pride that we feel everyone else owes us something? Certainly we wouldn’t be satisfied living that way. Certainly we’d not have any room for joy living that way. No matter how much we had, we’d always crave for that one thing we didn’t have. And if we’re not careful, our pursuit and our plans to get that one more thing could ultimately lead to our destruction.
Living with contentment really is a sweet way to live. Living free from the burden of self really is a joyful way to live. Because when we can live satisfied in the Lord and what He’s given us, it doesn’t matter what we don’t have. When our focus isn’t only on ourselves, it doesn’t matter so much how other people treat us. Those things won’t dictate whether we’re happy or sad. Those things won’t consume our minds and our hearts. If they do, we’ll be disappointed every time, but when our focus is in the right place, we can be thankful and fulfilled no matter what state we are in.