Thursday, November 26, 2020 00:33

Contentment Isn’t Instant

no new stuff, stewardship, secret of contentment

Life is a journey loaded with lessons to be learned.  To this opportunity, some people say, “Oh, goody,” and others utter “ugh!”

Only those who are willing will learn. They have the chance to become brilliant stars that not only generate light for themselves but also shine on the lives of others. 

Those unwilling to learn just muddle through life experiencing only intermittent sparks of insight that do little to light their own paths and nothing of note for others.

Abigail Adams wrote: “Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

And so it is, especially with learning to be content.  Only those who want to ever will.  Even the great Apostle Paul said he had to learn the secret of being content.  It didn’t happen to him involuntarily. All the ups and downs of life were essential to the learning process.  Listen to what he says: “I have learned the secret of being 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” (Phil. 4:11 & 12).

I would like to learn the secret of contentment while on the beach in Hawaii.  But probably that will not be the classroom of God’s choice.  More likely it will be the school of hard knocks (sorry for the cliché) right here in Colorado while the economy still stinks.

The writer to the Hebrews challenged God’s people to “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have . . .” (Heb. 13:5).  “What you have” is the problem.  No, the problem is not what I have—it is enough.  The problem is what I want that I don’t have and I think I need to be happy.

The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray “Give us this day our daily bread.”  That prayer expresses the simplicity of contentment.  It is learning that God’s supply is never promised for tomorrow, yet it is always sufficient for today.

There is a Greek proverb that says “All things good to know are difficult to learn.”  Contentment is one of those things good to know but difficult to learn. It isn’t instant.  Learning contentment is a process that requires first my willingness to see it as a worthy goal and diligence to accept every experience as part of God’s course work for my spiritual growth.

Questions:  How do you feel about contentment?  Is it a struggle?  What do you think makes it so difficult to learn?

Day 27: NEW STUFF = 0

© 2011, Linden Kirby, Excel Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. 

One Response to “Contentment Isn’t Instant”

  1. Lauren says:

    'Learning contentment is a process that requires first my willingness to see it as a worthy goal and diligence to accept every experience as part of God’s course work for my spiritual growth.' Amen to that!  A two-part process and a lesson that I continually seem to need to re-learn!