Monday, April 09, 2007

Be Content.


Simon struggles with contentment. When Jonah finishes his food first and asks for more (Jonah eats much faster), Simon asks for more too. He is not content with what he has, he thinks he needs more. He sees Jonah getting more food and suddenly the food he has (exactly the same, just a little less)is not good enough anymore. He wants what Jonah has.

Simon is not the only one who struggles with contentment. Confession time: I do too! I look around my house, see the "flaws" and want to fix them. I go shopping and see a myriad of things I want. I wish I had more money to buy new furniture. My contentment is not limited to material things. I wish my kids would obey more and cry less. I wish my hair looked better than it does. I wish my face looked better than it does. Can anyone else relate?!

Paul learned the secret. In Philippians 4:11-12 (NLT) he said "for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little." How did he do it?

I think a big part of it was that Paul had an eternal perspective. He knew how fleeting this world is (and the things in it). He believed God would take care of him. He was thankful for what he had. And, he was too busy doing what God had called him to do to spend time thinking about what he was "lacking."

When Simon wants more, I sometimes reply,"You have plenty child - take care of what you have, then maybe I will give you more. Quit comparing yourself with your brother, I will take care of your needs as well as his in my time. Be thankful and be content."

Maybe I should take my own advice.

6 comments:

Taylor said...

Thanks for sharing Megan. I too know how you feel. And while I feel I have found victory over the material things in life, I struggle with things like food. I am such a sweet addict. I guess I feel more content when my belly is full. God is working with me on this right now. And while in my mind I understand that it is only a temporary fix and only Christ can fill that emptyness. My heart hasn't followed yet. Is it part of God's way of keeping us broken and dependent on Him? Probably, but it sometimes is just all too consuming. I feel like I will never get it right and I will never be good enough. That I keep failing my loving Savior. And that deeply troubles me. Sometimes when I am feeling so overwhelmed, well I always pray first, and then if I have an opportunity, I go to sleep. I guess I figure I wake up with a fresh start again. No matter what it is hard and we will only be content when we are with Jesus in heaven. It is just figuring out how to managing the here and now. I guess that is why God gave us friends!

Kirsten said...

You are not alone in this, I look at my home (every piece of furniture in it was a hand-me-down) and think about all the changes I want to make and like you I wish I had better clothes, hair, body... etc... It is so easy to look at your "have nots" instead of your "haves". I always think of the quote, "if you are lucky enough to "fill in the blank with anything in your life", you are lucky enough.

Rebekah said...

How interesting that you have this posted when I was just thinking about this topic yesterday. It's such a state of mind isn't it? It's such a battle to not allow our circumstances rule our contentment. thanks for the good reminder!

Anonymous said...

Very wise and touching commentary...

Jim Diamond

Kathryn said...

As my sister says- Katie your house is a cornucopia of hand me downs. LOL

megs said...

Thanks for your encouragement and kind words! The saying on my perpetual calendar today was on contentment so I thought I'd pass it along - "Contentment can be reached by small changes, not just major ones. It's all a matter of perspective" - Becky Wiese.

Have a good day everyone!
Megs