"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Soul Food : Contentment

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A few weeks ago, I had it in mind to get something. I really wanted it though it wasn't the exact model. But I just having it was what mattered. I was bent set on it. All I had to do was order it online. Simple. However, It wasn't that simple in my mind. I wanted this thing and I justified myself by stating how much I deserved it...but then again, deep down, after praying about...My spirit didn't seem to agree a 100% with it. I could come up with a few reasons to buy it. So why not? But one night, when I really couldn't take it anymore, I asked God to answer me clearly. I wanted to know what to do. Late at night, sleepless on my bed, He took me to 1 Timothy 6 : 6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain". This was a familiar scripture to me and even at one point in my life, I'd been rehearsing it in my head over and over again. But all of a sudden, that night, I needed to dig deeper into that verse. All of a sudden, what I knew wasn't enough. I did some reading on this verse and realized there was much more to it that what's on the surface.

Firstly, it talks about godliness & contentment. Then it speaks about great gain. My first question was, what is godliness? The word when translated according to English language rules should mean, "being like God...in the likeness of God...". We all know what being like God entails, we just have to look to His son Jesus - our ultimate example - and we'd know what godliness was all about. 
But what about contentment? In our society, contentment doesn't seem to exist anymore. We are overly out of control about a lot of things. Everything is on excess. The balance has been messed up and we always want more and more. It's either all or nothing. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, contentment is "a state of happiness & satisfaction". I choose to define it this way, a state of joy & satisfaction no matter the circumstances. I substituted the happiness for joy because, happiness is circumstantial while joy isn't. You can be joyful inside of you & yet not be happy. Joy is unconditional whereas happiness has conditions. Real, inner real joy is therefore linked to contentment.

So, what's the deal with godliness, contentment & great gain?
The first thing to note is that it's hard to be godly without contentment. Let me explain :  Contentment has got everything to do with trust. Trusting God that no matter what, all is well. Contentment does not just address financial matters, our physical needs or even covetiousness. It also addresses everyday issues as simple as our jobs & relationships. Being content is telling God that, no matter what, I know you've got my back. Even if this job might not be what I'd been working hard for I know you have my back. Even if I can't start this project right now, I trust you because your time is best. And even if this relationship is not going as great as I'd always dreamt, I know you are the one that makes everything workout for my good. 
That's what contentment is all about. TRUSTING GOD.
So you see that the two, godliness & contentment, are quite hard to separate. How can you be godly without trusting God? When even Christ in His difficult moment still trusted in God's will. "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done" [Luke 22 : 42].

Secondly, contentment is learned! It has to be for it to be great gain. Because is is gained! You are not born with it or acquire it like your culture. You learn it. We, as human beings, are born, impatient, never satisfied with a flesh-inspired desire for more. So how is contentment acquired? Through situations. Sometimes, God takes us through some things, we don't understand why but most times, it's to teach us to trust Him, to teach us to be content so we can be complete no matter the situation. Brother Paul fills on in on his experience with contentment in Philippians 4 : 11 - 13 "...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 all this through him who gives me strength"

This verse takes me to my third point : godliness cannot be acquired through the flesh but only by the Spirit as brother Paul rightly says "I can do all this through him who gives me strength". He underlines the fact that this "secret" he'd learned  and has been putting into practice has been through the spirit of God. 

Lastly, the great gain. Contentment is truly great gain because it gives way to peace & tranquility. What is better than just resting in God, knowing He's got whatever you can ever be thinking about or in need of covered. As Isaiah 46 : 10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God". And what about Isaiah 30 : 15? "In quietness and trust is your strength". Quietness is contentment which is the manifestation of trust and leads to peace & salvation. It also implies exercising control & being able to define God's will. I knew I could easily get that thing I wanted to buy. But deep down in me, when I stayed still and listened, I could hear Him telling me I should not be over excited about but in time, He will give me something better. I decided to listen and peace has reigned about the issue ever since.

Whatever situation you might be in or whatever you think you might be lacking, just be content and trust God with everything. 
Through it will you find access to God's true peace. 

"The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" [Philippians 4 : 7]

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad i visited this blog today cuz,you explained everything in details and trust me,you don't know what I've learnt and realized from this post..

    Thanks for sharing this..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the glory be to God alone Becqui.
      It truly warms my heart to hear to know the post was of help.

      May God continue to guide your steps.
      God bless you richly.

      Delete

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