Friday, October 17, 2014

17 | Be Content

At some time or another, we've all felt the compulsion to keep us with the Joneses. Try as we might, all this comparison and catching up just leaves us jonesin' for more. Like hamsters spinning crazy on the exercise wheel, going nowhere, we can spend a lifetime striving for contentment by doing, doing, and doing some more.

Let's get off that exercise wheel.  Let's get out of that hamster cage.

Let's just be still.

If you, like me, are looking for more contentment and joy in your life, remember this.  Contentment starts within our deepest being.  External circumstances, accomplishments, and acquisitions will never, ever get us there.

We have to be still.  

We have to still and silence the voices of comparison.  We must tune into God's voice.  We need to choose this.

True contentment is not an act of doing enough to satisfy our goals.  It's an act of being in God's presence enough to adopt his perspective and his strength.  We cannot reach contentment on our own.  Like Paul teaches us, it is God's power that leads us to this peaceful place.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:11-13
Notice that Paul doesn't go all Pollyanna on us.  Contentment isn't about putting on rose-colored glasses, ignoring what we don't have, or denying what we want.  When we practice contentment we recognize less-than-desirable circumstances and accept them.  Contentment rises above the things we lacking by shifting our focus to God. Our God gives us the strength to deal with deficiencies and to find peace in our present state.

via Pinterest
Contentment comes when we put on God's perspective.  This world is temporary. Sure, we do important things here.  We create soft landing places, we nurture relationships, we work to benefit others — but we do all this by the grace of God.  And God's grace includes his earnest invitation that we enjoy the gifts he gives us while we have them here on earth.
Yesterday we sat in grateful stillness, reflecting on the gifts God gives us.  Today let's savor our current situation, let's slip into the quiet peace of contentment.
Contentment is the perfect peace that God promises us, a peace that is not dependent on life circumstances.  
Tasha M. Brown

I am often tempted to be discontent, to want more, to be more, to have more.  When this temptation takes over, please bring me back to your perfect peace.  

I can relax and rest assured that in this moment I am enough.  You have named and claimed me as your precious child.  I am loved.  Forgiven.  Understood and accepted. And where I lack wisdom, strength, and courage, you have a ready supply of everything I need.  When I abide in you, I am complete.

I have enough.  Warm and secure shelter.  Food to sustain me.  Clean water to quench my thirst and clean me.  You provide this daily bread, these basic needs, and so much more.  You are my spiritual shelter.  Your word sustains me and strengthens me.  Your baptism and forgiveness wash me clean with each new day.  

Beyond these basics you, in your infinite wisdom, have blessed me.  I have relationships that nurture me intellectually and emotionally.  I have work that challenges and stretches me.  I have comforts and treasures that brighten my days.  I am rich in laughter, in love, in learning.  And you are the source of all these gifts.

When I start to long for something or get distracted by some lack, pull me back into your peace.  Help me to question whether my perceived need or desire is pleasing to you or part of your plan.  Remind me that where treasure is, there my heart is also. Lord, you are my ultimate treasure.  Your love and grace are all I need.  Keep me contented and connected to you, so that I may spread your peace and glorify your holy name.


Here are links to more inspiring words about living contentedly...

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