Pillars of Christian Character: Contentment

Philippians 4:11‭-‬12 NKJV
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
To be content is to be in a state of happiness and satisfaction. That is hard to find in today’s world because we have placed such a high value on things. Think about this; you see this nice phone and you save up some money and you buy it. You are so excited about it until a few weeks later when they release a newer model. Suddenly the joy and satisfaction that you had when you bought your phone disappears. It still functions well but you are no longer happy and satisfied, you must have the new model.
Is that not the world we live in today? In fact the advertising world knows this so well and they have capitalized on it because they will make you feel like you are really missing out and the only way to be happy and look successful is to buy that newer model of the phone.
Paul says he has learned to be content meaning its a journey. If you are not yet there don’t be so hard on yourself, allow God by his Holy Spirit to teach you and lead you up that road of finding contentment in him and not in things. I believe the first place to start is to develop a heart of gratitude.
Paul had gone through seasons when he had a lot and seasons when he had little and he was in need. In all these situations, he had learned to be content, to be happy and satisfied. He had gotten to the place where he had discovered that his Joy and satisfaction was not in things but in God. It is at that point that he then declares that ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And this he wrote while in prison and not a palace.
Does this mean that it is wrong to be ambitious and to want more? I don’t think so as long as your joy and satisfaction is not pegged on things but on the Lord. The attitude of your heart is also important. Why do you want more? We must never allow our lives to be all about chasing after this thing then the other in order to be happy and feel successful.
God tells us to ask and it shall be given to us, but he also tells us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. He is the greatest giver and he has already blessed us. So in whatever situation you are in, ask the Holy Spirit to a teach you to be content, happy and satisfied because you are in the Lord and that should be enough because in him you have all you need.
Have you ever lost your joy and satisfaction because you did not have something? What was that thing? How did you feel when you finally got it and how long did the joy last? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to be content in God alone.
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