Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Holman Bible Dictionary defines contentment like this...“An internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances”. I want that. Don't you? Satisfaction with who I am, what I have, and where I live. Life would be so much easier if we would embrace contentment every single day. There is much freedom in living a content life. Freedom from feeling the need to know and to have and see what the world is doing all the time. Freedom from needing MORE. Ya see, that's where the problems begin. When we think we NEED more stuff to be content. When we have the more that we think we need, then we have to deal with it.
When we live a discontent life, we are often caught in a position of comparison. Years ago I heard a pastor say.."Comparison is the thief of joy". And it's so true. When we compare our lives with the lives of others, we lose our joy for the gifts we have been given. Everything in the world belongs to God. We are only managers of all this stuff on planet earth. How well are you managing what you have been given? So often we take on more stuff when we cannot seem to manage what we already have. And we lose our peace, and we lose our joy.
So how does one find a life of contentment? In the Book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul writes..."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. " Philippians 4:12 NIV - His secret was that he had found where true joy exists. Not in the things of this world. Not in popularity or fancy living. Not in the wisdom of this world, but in all things eternal. In things that are lasting. In Jesus Christ. I think Paul was a pretty cool dude. He had found the secret after many years of living a discontent lifestyle.
We can't take one thing from this life with us into the next can we? So why do we waste so much time fretting over what we don't have and taking on more than we can handle? Well, because sometimes, we are just dumb sheep in need of some clear direction. This week while you walk around your home "doing inventory" of all that you have been given, remember to do these things too:
1. Give thanks the Lord for what He has already given to you.
2. Tell Him you are sorry for thinking that it was not enough.
3. Find joy in the season of your life that you are currently living.
4. Create fun spaces with the things that you already have to make your heart happy.
5. Make a check list of the things that create discontentment in your heart and keep it up on your mirror as a reminder of where you don't want to be.
6. Think less about what you want and more about what you already have.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others!
8. Donate to a worthy cause (fundraiser, Good Will, a single mom in need).
9. Rearrange your furniture. Sometimes re-purposing what you already have, makes you feel like you got something new.
10. Be content.
Finding real peace is a process. The Apostle Paul could tell you that ! He was the most discontent man on planet earth. Until he met Jesus. Then everything changed. It can change for you too! A life in Christ will bring contentment to every area of your life. Home and Heart : )
Press on towards that PEACE y'all!