Moms and Dads… how would it affect our families if we followed the Apostle Paul’s teaching about contentment?
Paul’s “Secret”: Contentment
“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
In this statement, Paul lets us in on a secret, and oh, how we like to know a secret! Paul tells us that his secret is that he has learned to be content. Contentment. A nice thing to talk about, but how does it fit into our 21st Century pace of life? Well, maybe we have some more learning to do. After all, it’s not like we were born content! The reality is that we were born discontent. David said in Psalm 51: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Let’s look at where contentment comes from and what some “contentment killers” might be in our lives.
Contentment: Through Him
The next verse after Paul shares his secret says, “For I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Our heart’s contentment is found only in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
St. Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
Pascal adds, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the creator, made known through Jesus.”
John Piper, in his book, Don’t Waste Your Life, says, “He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”
There is no complete contentment apart from Jesus Christ because were created to be in a right relationship with Him.
Jesus Christ is our portion, and only He can satisfy the longings in our hearts and souls. If we find that we are not satisfied in Him, it is not because there is a deficiency in Him, but because there is a deficiency in us!
Check out how the psalmist looks away from himself (and his deficiency), and looks towards God (in all of His sufficiency!):
“Whom have I in heaven by You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25, 26
Unfortunately, our hearts are like little “idol factories.” An idol is something or someone that we try to put in place of God in our hearts. We tend to crowd out the One who created us, the only One through whom we can be truly satisfied.
Next… “Contentment Killers”