Learn To Be Content

at the monastery
Originally uploaded by *Lele (in and out)
I have learned the secret of being content...
Philippians 4:12

Sometimes contentment means:

1) Learning to be happy with less. A hard-charging executive decided to spend a few days in a monastery. 'I hope your stay is a blessed one,' said the monk who showed him to his cell. 'If you need anything let us know. We'll teach you how to live without it.' Happiness isn't getting what you want, it's enjoying what God's given you. Paul said he had learned to be content, '...whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.' (Philippians 4:12-13 NIV)

2) Reminding yourself things could be worse. Snoopy was lying in his dog house one Thanksgiving Day, mumbling about being stuck with dog food while all those humans got to be inside with the turkey and gravy and pumpkin pie. 'Of course, it could have been worse,' he finally reflected, 'I could have been born a turkey.' Reminding yourself 'It could be worse' can be a powerful developer of contentment.

3) Understanding that what you seek is spiritual, not material. Paul says to beware of '...greed, which is idolatry' (Colossians 3:5 NIV). Our problem isn't just that we want more, it's that the condition which underlies all our wanting is that we really want God. As Augustine said, 'Our souls will never rest, until they rest in Thee.' Why would God let us feel at home, when this world is not our home? Our dissatisfaction, if we let it, can sharpen our spiritual hunger and cause us to pray, 'your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven' (Matthew 6:10 NIV).

Used with permission from UCB Word for Today. Free issues are available here for the UK and Republic of Ireland.


Angie said…
So, so true!
Diana said…
Thank you. I have been so blessed by your insight, and your encouragements, laid out quite simply, and without guile.
Have a blessed Holy weekend.
Barbara said…
The answer to everything, learning to be content in wherever Christ has us at this moment and what a lifetime journey it takes sometimes to learn to live in that.

Easter blessings to you Mike.
Steve said…
Thanks again for the thoughts...