Do You Have True Contentment?
Do You Have True Contentment?
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Welcome to another New Year and with it comes an abundance of New Year’s resolutions. We all have them. We want to lose weight and get into shape, organize our homes and get rid of clutter and things we don’t need. We want to make better choices in our lives that lead to positive changes. To get a head start, stores start displaying storage totes, calendars and books and magazines that help get us get organized. We see all the exercise equipment advertised to help lose weight and get us into shape. I’ve heard people say, “I can’t wait for this year to be over with and the New Year to begin!” My question is…why can we never stick with our resolutions? Why is commitment so hard for us to do? Why can’t we be satisfied with what we have and only purchase what we need? Lastly, why is it so difficult for us to maintain it throughout the year where we wouldn’t have to continuously start over? Ok, that was more than one question, but these are questions we must look at and ask ourselves…am I truly content?
The problem is not our home, our bodies, our schedules or our jobs. The problem is two-fold. It’s our mindset and the fact that we are not content. Paul states in Philippians 4:10-13:
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:10-13)
In order to be content, we have to renew our minds. We have to think differently about ourselves, others, and the situations we are in. Paul learned to be content in any situation. Though he went through difficult times in his life, at this time he was more thankful that the Philippians had given because it was good for them to be givers. It was their fruit that he looked at and this made him joyful. Sometimes we just look at the bad side of a situation or people and fail to see the good. Paul knew that in order to be truly content and to be able to do what Christ had called him to do, he needed the strength of Jesus Christ and he had to learn this through the difficult times. We also need the strength of Christ to see the positive in others and in situations and not just the negative.
Changes are good, and sometimes we must make changes in different areas of our life in order to improve ourselves and to have peace. Yet when we continue on the hamster wheel, never truly following through with what we set out to do and going back to our old ways and habits (Egypt) which only keeps us in bondage, then we must look at where the true problem comes from. It comes from within us. We can try to change everything on the outside of us in order to be “happy” and make it the way we want, but until we include Jesus in our goals, renew our mind and think differently, we will forever be on that hamster wheel going around in circles but not really getting anywhere or completing anything we’ve started. We will continue making the same mistakes over again and find ourselves in the same repeated patterns. We will fizzle out because we have failed to realize we need the strength of Christ to renew our minds, make the changes and be content. Once we include Him, everything else will fall into place.
Take some time today to be with Jesus and ask Him to first help you to renew your mind so you can see things through His eyes and not worldly eyes, so you can make the changes that are needed to produce good fruit. Then ask Him to help you to remain committed to your goals so you can be content in any situation. Once you do, and continue relying on Him daily, you will see a change, be it in your family, your marriage, your job or your health. Remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.