Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Contemplating Contentment

"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 everything who through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13

I have a mistaken concept of "content". I think about that word and I think it means to not complain, but really it means satisfied-not desiring more than one has. Please hold. I think I am doing really well when I don't run around crabbing about all the things that I want, all the things I think I deserve. I really can't imagine being in true need. I have so much more than I really deserve-I think Romans 6:23 covers that pretty well-I don't deserve anything more than the wages of my sin. But, because I live in a fallen world, and I was born with a sin nature, I crave things that I really don't need. Things that if I had them, I probably wouldn't even want them!

I am not just talking about physical things: money, clothes, home decor. I am talking about intangible things. Being a "perfect" wife and mother, having it "all together". I think as believers we have bought into this notion that it is okay to never be satisfied with who we are in Christ. That we are to be constantly striving to do more and be more. Pause: I am not saying that we do not need to continue to grow and mature in our faith. I am saying that to live in a continual state of feeling like you are never good enough, that you just have to try harder, stay up longer, be more, do more-isn't pleasing to the Lord. He made you who you are for a reason. I don't deserve to be a perfect wife or mother. Then I wouldn't have to rely on the grace of God. He can make me content because then I know that He will provide anything that I need to get to where He wants me to be. I have an imaginary list that I keep in my head about what I should be doing. It goes something like this:

1. I need to always have a clean house.
2. I need to be dressed modestly, yet fashionably. This goes for my kids, too.
3. I need to manage my finances, yet look like I have more money than I do. Plus, I should never tell anyone else that I can't "afford" something.
4. I need to be a fantastic cook.
5. I need to have a wealth of Biblical knowledge, have tons of Scripture memorized and constantly be involved in a Bible study.
6. I need to write witty, wise, meaningful posts.
7.I need to always be patient with my children, never raising my voice.
8. And on, and on, and on....

I am not satisfied with where I am. I am not satisfied with who God has made me and the place He has given me to serve. So few of the things on my list are truly noble goals, and the ones that are usually have poor motivation. Do I really want a wealth of Biblical knowledge so it will please the Lord, or I can show off during Bible study? I want to be content-not wanting more than I have. Knowing that each challenge in my life is an opportunity for the Lord to reveal His glory through me. Not doing it on my own strength. I can be satisfied with where I am at, knowing that anything additional that is required of me will be accomplished through Him, not me. I can be thankful that I am a somewhat patient mother of two great kids, acceptable wife to a wonderful husband, renter of a semi-clean house, often a participant in Bible study, and occasional author of a decent blog post. The Lord will make up the difference if I am relying on Him. I am allowed to be content where I am. Not in where I am going, or who I will be, but right here, right now. And that makes me thankful-and CONTENT!

This post is part of the Mom's 30 Minute Blog Challenge and is linked up there.


  1. Being content is difficult, but it's rewarding. Knowing we're resting in Christ and His promises and love makes it all possible.

    I love your list. I too used to struggle with #3 as it was a source of pride to 'look' like I could afford anything and everything. I realized though, that it's unrealistic and soon found myself telling people the truth "My finances won't allow me to make that a priority right now." It was a relief.

    The Lord is working in your life in mighty ways and it's awesome to see how He's revealing it by reading your posts. You've got #6 down to a science. Keep up the good work and keep striving for The Prize! (1 Cor. 9:24)

  2. #1, 2, and 7 - you and me, both alike. =)

    ~ Jen



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