Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Learned Contentment

I have been thinking on some words of Paul written to Timothy, "Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." (1 Timothy 6:6-8)

The word "content" is not a natural part of our vocabulary. It means "sufficient"--that this or that is enough for today. Now, there are some things we should not be content with, like our seeking of the Lord--we should always desire to see more of Him--or our sanctification--we should always desire to look more like Him. But when it comes to our material state, Paul challenges us to learn contentment; and it is definitely a learned "thang"--just watch a 2 year, "Mine! More!"

In our natural selves, we always want more stuff because for some reason we think the stuff will satisfy--and it may for a few minutes or even a couple of days. I will be the first to admit that I love some shop therapy. It is a momentary lift to buy a cute, new outfit that fits just perfectly--can I get a witness? But toddlers rub their peanut butter hands on new clothes, and carpets get stained, and money vanishes. Then the same longing comes welling back to the surface. This longing is the innate need to be intimate with our Creator--nothing can fill that gap except Him.

The way we learn contentment is by resting in the sovereignty of God--knowing deep within that He loves His children and works in our lives for our good and His glory. That will be the place of satisfaction in spite of circumstance.

May we pray and intercede for the future, while rejoicing and contented in the present.

For further nourishment: Philippians 4:4-13

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