contentment.

(originally posted February 2011)

the sermon today really spoke to my heart. it was on contentment, an issue i struggle with in some areas, particularly in being content with having another year of seminary left, since i’m weary of the college life and ready to find a place we can call home. b. says its not bad to Want something, to long for it, but when longing for the future causes you to be discontent with the present, then its wrong, and i’m guilty of being too impatient. i struggle with it most when comparing our lives to other couples we know–i feel sometimes like we’re so behind everyone else, still in school and all–but i know that God has different plans for everyone, different timing, and i am keeping that in mind and going to do my best to more than be content, to love this last year of seminary.

as for the sermon, here’s the highlights, from my notes:

  • contentment has nothing to do with the events going on in your life, good or bad
    • is not being self-satisfied–you still change what God wants you to change
    • is not apathy or lack of feeling
  • contentment gives you the ability to look past the present situation and see it how God sees it
  • do not listen to those who tell you that you need more
  • God means for you to have what you already have; when you learn to appreciate that, you can realize how rich you truly are
  • road blocks for contentment: coveting, unbelief, negativity, self-pity
  • cultivate contentment: count your blessings, focus your attention on spiritual matters, keep busy (an idle mind wanders), guard against greed

Scripture:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

Two things I ask of you, LORD; do not refuse me before I die, Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:7-9)

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (I Timothy 6:6-8)

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