Learning To Be Content
“Godliness accompanied with contentment is great and abundant gain.”
I Timothy 6:6
When a person arrives home and/or a workplace after being away for a period of time, there are many situations greeting you at the doorstep that need your attention. The peace and contentment from your time away often times vanishes quickly as your mind begins to whirl as you try to decide which task should be tended to first.
What does being content mean to you? Is it possibly sitting down to eat a favorite meal; or reading a good book; or sitting on the beach? How do you remain content during times of trials? Do you depend on circumstances in your life to provide contentment? Do you get upset if those circumstances do not work out?
M. R. De Haan, M.D., related a story about a Christian who was reduced to such poverty that he had only one pair of shoes, with the soles worn through and his toes sticking out. The situation depressed him greatly and as he walked down the street he mumbled to himself, “I might as well be barefooted as to wear these miserable, uncomfortable shoes.” He felt himself becoming more bitter. One day he came upon a man who had no feet to put any shoes on. The discouraged Christian realized that there is something worse than “old shoes” it is having no feet to put the shoes on. He suddenly was contented with having his “old shoes”.
In Philippians, Paul discovered through his difficult life experiences how to become content in times of sufferings and trials. In Chapter 4, verse 11b, he stated: “I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little.” (NLT). When Paul wrote the Book of Philippians he was imprisoned in Rome. How could he possibly be content being a prisoner in a dungeon? He had learned to depend on the power of Jesus Christ and the promises of God. C. H. Spurgeon stated: “contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated:; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.”
Paul also “had learned that real contentment was in Jesus Christ“. We can learn how to be content whether we have much or have just a little, or in the difficulties in our life. The outside circumstances should not dictate whether we are content.
As a Christian, our goal should be that no matter what the task, big or small, or how discouraged we are by life experiences, we can be confident that as we learn to depend on Jesus Christ we can realize true contentment, just as Paul experienced.
Lord God, thank You for providing contentment to us as we learn to depend on Your promises more and more. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington