Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Ok, This is the first time that I've done this but I've been contemplating the idea of contentment for the past few days. Mainly in light of recent events that are happening in the world and in my own sphere. It is a concept or principle that seems to get lost in daily life and living in the USA. It would seem that the whole American economy is based on not being content, needing to get new and better things to fill our lives. It also raises the question that I've heard many people say over the years, "How much is enough"? So what is the truth about contentment? Well , I believe the best place to turn is to the Bible:) Basically, I feel like I can have all kinds of thoughts about contentment, but it is the Bible that is the real authority for me and gives clear direction on the issue of contentment. I have not done an exhaustive study on contentment, but I would just like to share a few things that I thought spoke to me personally.
First of all I found the most obvious answer to contentment, it is found in the Lord. Paul was speaking in Philippians that he had "learned" to be content in whatever his situation, abounding or in want. "Learning"- jumped out at me! What does that mean? "Learning to be content." After checking a cross-reference 2 Cor.9:8-10, I found that God is the one that makes Grace abound and supplies you with every good work... Humm! Well, if you continue reading in 2 Cor. you can see that contentment, as Paul may have "learned", is gained through helping others that are in need. That seems like it would lead to contentment wouldn't it?
Paul writing to Timothy about contentment has some familiar words that you may have heard quoted by many people. "Now godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this word and it is certain that we can carry nothing out, and having food and clothing we shall be content."-1 Tim. 6:6-8
So, it seems that there is a freedom in these verses.
As I began researching "contentment" I started in the Old Testament and found some interesting advice written in Ecclesiastes. This was written by Solomon, as he was given everything that he asked for, by God. He found great Joy in the works of his hands that God gave him, But also realized that it was all vanity, grasping at the wind.-Ecc.2:10-11
Later in Chapter 5:18-19 of Ecclesiastes- He writes, "It is good and fitting to enjoy the wealth of the labors of your hands- this is a gift of God, for he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joys of his heart." What does a person who dwells unduly on his days look like? I think it is someone with regrets? If you continue reading in this chapter it paints a grim tale of a person that holds onto his wealth and doesn't enjoy it. This brings us back to the beginning of my outline here. How do you have contentment? I hope that this made sense and is a starting for living with contentment.- Merry Christmas!!