Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Contentment Part 2- For I Have Learned...

Reading the definitions of contentment one might wonder if that is contentment what is discontentment?I know I was encouraged to learn that discontentment is a sin and nothing more or less!

“This sin of discontent I find very skilful in it’s apologies, which I shall first discover, and then make a reply. We must lay it down for a rule, that discontent is a sin, so that all the pretences and apologies wherewith it labors to justify itself are but the painting and dressing of a strumpet” Watson 51

Discontentment can be tricky. Sometimes I may not even realize that I am not trusting in God's provision for my life, therefore discontent but a few days will go by and I will begin to notice complaining coming from my mouth over a circumstance. Or I can get caught up in the lie that I have a right to be discontent. My situation is just that bad (lie, lie) and if you were in this situation you would be discontent too. I thank God that though discontentment is a sin, I don’t have to labor to make pretences to justify my discontentment. I don’t have to fear calling discontentment a sin for God has given us a cure for sin! God died on the cross for the sin of discontentment. Therefore I have hope! I have power to change!

Paul writes in Philippians 4:11 "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."

Emphasis on learned. Contentment does not come easy to the natural man. Left in our sinful state we will be discontent. To have "... a sweet temper of spirit, whereby a Christian carries himself in an equal poise in every condition” can only happen by the work of the Holy Spirit! Again Watson says, “ the trade of sin needs not to be learned, but the art of divine contentment is not achieved without holy industry”

Now the Apostle Paul writes this verse from jail. Right in the middle of a trial he is writing this to the church. I have learned to be content. I assure you that this is not what you would hear from me if I was thrown in jail! I still have much to learn.

"Though God had carried him( Paul) into various conditions, yet he was not lifted up with the one, nor cast down with the other: the spring of his heart was not broken, the wheels of his affection were not destroyed, but kept their constant motion towards heaven- still content" Watson p26

Paul had many circumtstances throughout his life to learn contentment. Very similar to the ones people face today. Finacial difficulties, physical sufferings, persecution, memories of a sinful past, he even learned contentment in his singleness! I will get more in depth on these topics later on this week. This study on contentment has helped me view my circumstances as the means by which God allows me to learn contentment. Rather than my often wrong thinking, that circumstances just get in the way of me being content.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Hi. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving the excellent quote. I enjoyed your posts about contentment. My husband, Jason, is pastor of adult life ministries at Chesapeake Community Church in Maryland. I'm sure we have much in common. I'll be back!