Choosing to be content
Do you ever have a feeling there has to be something more? Like something is missing or incomplete, but you are not sure what it is?
I imagine most of us have been there. And if you haven’t, you know someone who has. We can look around us and see all the ways people are trying to satisfy a need they can’t really define.
Drugs. Gambling. Alcohol. Pornography.
We look at others who have those “issues,” and we wonder how their lives could get so out of control. But sometimes we forget to notice the ways we are expressing our own discontent and emptiness.
We seek communion online and neglect the community around us. We savor food instead of the Bread of Life. We accumulate more than we could ever need or use and walk past those with nothing. We build big houses while countless children around the world are orphans. We spend countless dollars eating out when millions of people are starving.
There is nothing wrong with good food or beautiful homes or lovely vacations. God has provided so much for us, and He intends us to savor the gifts He gives. But periodically we need to check our hearts. To pray as David did, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” -Psalm 139:23-24
We need to ask the Lord to search us, to test our thoughts. We need Him to reveal to us those places that are not His … because we were not made for this world, my friends. We were created for something more, something better. He has called us to this time and this place for His glory and for His service. But we, like countless others, can claim the promise of a heavenly country, for God has prepared for us a city (Hebrews 11:16).
Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:11-13.
There’s an important word in there … learned. Paul chose to pursue contentment. He realized true satisfaction and fullness isn’t found in what we have or what we do; contentment is rooted in knowing Whose we are.
I have no idea what this week holds for you. But I know this: there is a God in heaven who loves you and longs to give you every good and perfect gift (James 1:17), including an abundant life (John 10:10). When we learn to find our contentment and identity in Him, living well follows. Perhaps today you need to carve out a moment or two for reflection, for confession and for a turning of your heart toward the only One who truly, eternally satisfies!