Sunday, December 18, 2011

Elusive Contentment

Elusive Contentment
December 19, 2011
1 Timothy 6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

It is hard to be content sometimes. Being content means being satisfied with your current level of "it." "It" would be defined uniquely in every given circumstance. When the Bible discusses the word for contentment, it is talking about physical things (possessions, wealth, & income). You and I have struggled with this since we were little, always wanting more than we have. This longing for more is built into us because of sin. If we did not have a sinful nature, we would not be greedy or selfish, and would therefore always be content. Some Christians, in an effort to justify wanting or having more than enough, tout Scriptures about the Lord wanting to richly bless us if we serve Him. The word for "bless" appears almost 400 times in the Bible. It is easy to find a Bible verse that enforces our desire for physical blessing to mean being rich, wealth that is bestowed upon us by the Lord.

But the Bible actually refutes us if we misinterpret Scripture into teaching that we will get rich if we live a Godly life, awaiting for His earthly prosperity. It says very clearly that people are robbed of the truth if they believe that living a Godly life will grant them physical blessings of richness and wealth (1 Timothy 6:1-5). The Bible goes on further to say that we should live a Godly life and find contentment with whatever we have. It doesn't say we should search for contentment in different things, seeking for it through lifestyle changes or taking new directions. It says we should live a Godly life, then be content with where that leads us, wherever it takes us. If we do that, we will have gained more than we realize. Let me expand on that.

If you read through Scripture, it says to live a Godly life (which is defined as adhering to Biblical directions and following the leading of the Lord). If you do this, you will find yourself inevitably in God's will for your life. The Lord's will for your life will not only lead to satisfaction and fulfillment but a greater gain than you can understand. Scripture says that by following the Lord, by doing His will and following His commands, you will store up for yourself treasure in Heaven. It is a future reward system that, though we cannot understand, we must accept in faith. We must believe that a future reward will be worth more than having riches and physical blessing today. If we are left to define the level of "it" we think will make us content, then we will never stop with wanting and pursuing more. This is why contentment is always elusive. If we chase after more in an effort to feel content on this earth, we will never have enough nor will we be storing up future rewards in Heaven. In searching for the degree that will make us content, we actually find ourselves in an empty pursuit, permanently elusive.

Instead, we should pursue Godliness, finding contentment in doing the Lord's will. This will not necessarily lead to physical blessing, but emotional satisfaction in knowing the Father's heart will be pleased and that He will place Heavenly deposits into your account for future benefit. The contentment is in knowing your current situation is actually part of the Lord's will for your life, if you've been following Him. This will change your perspective on your situations in life. If you can find contentment today, then you have found yourself in the Lord's will. This is the best place to be and far better than any amount of physical wealth. If you are currently not content, then you have not found the Lord's will for your life and are searching for the wrong things, a pursuit that will leave you empty.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Joshua 24:15, Prov 19:23, Ecc 4:8, Phil 4:10-12, 1 Tim 6:1-20, 1 Thess 4:2-4

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