Sunday, March 25, 2012
Yesterday I was in a funk--stewing about things that I was discontent about. Ironically, I was also preparing to lead our small group today in a study about contentment.
To be honest, I chose contentment as a topic because I thought I had a handle on that in my life. I'm usually pretty willing to live a frugal lifestyle and I feel like I'm free from a love of material possessions.
But as I studied more about a biblical view of contentment I realized that it's more than just being satisfied with what God's given me financially. Contentment, as Paul tells us in Phil. 4:11-13, is being satisfied in every circumstance. It's trusting that God always has my best interest in mind, no matter how it looks to me at the time.
In his book, The Practice of Godliness, Jerry Bridges writes, "The very first temptation in the history of mankind was the temptation to be discontent...that is exactly what discontent(ment) is--a questioning of the goodness of God." And he then goes on to say, "Contentment is one of the most distinguishing traits of the godly person, because a godly person has his heart focused on God rather than on possessions or position or power."
Contentment is not complacency because we know God, though He loves us as we are, is not willing to leave us as we are. Still, it's important for me to remember that God did create me--even with those things I see as undesirable weaknesses. George McDonald said, "I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of, for to have been thought about, born in God's thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking." I can't say I'm where George was in that thinking yet, but I'd like to be.
I'm definitely not as content as I thought I was or as I wish to be.
God, help me to see myself, my Operation Christmas Child team and ministry life, my professional life, my church life--all with your eyes. Let me be content in knowing that You have good plans for all of this and will accomplish Your good work in me and in those around me in Your time.
Posted by Kathy Schriefer at 5:25 PM