I want the best in every part of my life. And I want to be the best I can be, therefore I love improvement. But sometimes we go overboard and we end up feeling less. We want to be skinner, stronger, smarter, taller, better, faster. We want our house to be bigger, our car to be newer, our teeth to be whiter…I think the “er” of life is doing something very harmful to us. It can drive us to overwork, to dishonesty. It can pull us apart from those we love and away from our commitments that are essential (children, spouse, even God and church). It can make us “miserable-r”
The opposite of *“er” is *“Contentment.” It is hard to command contentment – in fact it’s really a replacement that we are looking for. We understand the replacement concept. Mom used to say you better stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about – replacement . Of course what we want is to replace one thing with another that is better. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The word Contentment is not only a rich word it’s also a biblical word.In fact, the Bible has quite a bit to say about this matter of being content. Paul said in *1Timothy 6:6, “Godliness w/contentment is great gain,” then in verse 8 he said, “& having food & clothing, let us be content.” The writer of Hebrews says, *”Be content with whatever you have, for He said I will never leave you or forsake you.”
So in the Bible contentment is not just a nice little virtue to have but it’s a command. You are to be content because you understand that an utterly and totally and infinitely and supernaturally resourceful God will never leave you or forsake you.
But frankly, most people don’t experience it. Even most Christians don’t experience it, at least, like God desires us to. We tend to be a very discontent people.
Contentment is confused with but not:
Contentment is not cynicism – it isn’t when you are so checked out that all you can do is find fault – criticize – moan. Contentment is not resignation or disillusionment – it isn’t just checking out. “Oh, I’ve just reached the point that I’m content with how things are.” Really is it that or have you just checked out, quit, given up? Contentment is not denial – Everything is perfect in the next job, the next marriage, the next church, the next next.
Contentment is realization of what is and is not and a decision to “be” anyway! To be connected.
Here’s the payoff for your reading this far:
You’ve got something – a job, a spouse, a church, a life: Stop ripping it up, tearing it apart, over evaluating it, critiquing it – just enjoy it! Breath! Relax! Thank God for it! I’m not saying stop trying to improve but I am saying the ‘er’ can kill your joy. Listen, your marriage will never be perfect but it can be great. You will never find the perfect congregation but you can find one you love. You will never find the perfect eldership but you can find one that loves you. The perfect doesn’t exist this side of eternity. I only know of three perfect things that made their way to the earth, one we shattered (the Garden), one we crucified (the Christ) and one we continually break (the Perfect law of liberty).
“Be content with what you have, for He … Will never leave you or forsake you.” If not you will spend your life grasping for what you don’t have and in the end you will find you have….nothing.