Thursday, August 8, 2013

On Being Content

Being Content: In a state of peaceful happiness; a state of satisfaction. 

Peaceful happiness - what a term! If you were to honestly evaluate your life against this idea, what would you find? Is majority of your life spent in a state of "peaceful happiness" or do you find yourself more commonly in a state of chaos? How would you define "peaceful happiness" anyway? Is that definition formed out of a cultural world-view or a godly world-view?

I realize I just threw a bunch of loaded questions at you. And if I'm being honest, I find those quite difficult to answer myself. It's unbelievably easy to find myself chasing after this "happiness" through worldly successes and desires - money, career, friends. So if that's not the correct route - what is it exactly?

Paul knows. In Philippians 4:11-12 he says, "I have learned to be content... I have learned the secret." Thankfully this is a secret he has shared with all of those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ.

Here are the secrets of contentment according to Paul:  
  1. Confidence in God's Providence
  2. Satisfaction with Little
  3. Detachment from Circumstances
  4. Being Sustained by Divine Power
The thing is, these four "secrets" are radically different from what the world tells us. The world tells us that we must be self-sufficient, that we must constantly desire and need MORE. Materialism, selfishness, and consumerism have quickly replaced these biblical truths in people's mind.

This is something that I continue to struggle with. I find that I need constant reminders that a hunger for God is fulfilled in abundance and that a hunger for temporal treasures only leads to disappointment. In 1 Timothy 6, Paul writes "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it."

It's about changing our world-view from self-sufficiency to Christ-sufficiency.

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