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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Slow Down By Learning Contentment

In review of Philippians 4:11 it says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances”

Bottom Line:
Learn contentment, regardless of your circumstances

What this means to me:
I need to learn true content with what I have (little or much), regardless of my circumstances, in order to get along happily or satisfied.

In order to slow down or create margin in my life, I need to consider my heart and in particular contentment rather than my schedule.

Paul explains in this verse from Philippians 4:11 that, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (NIV). Worth noting is the word “learned.” By nature I’ve noticed that I’m not naturally a contented person. It seems my nature to want things to be different, to want them to be better. It is not my default to be contented. However, if I’m going to slow down and build margin into my life, learning contentment is key. It’s something that doesn’t come overnight, rather it is learned over time.

So how do I do this?  Paul also mentioned that, “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Timothy 6:6-8). He’s indicating that life isn’t about things. I didn’t have anything before I was born. I’m not going to have anything after I die. Things are not what my life is all about, so learn to be content with what I have.

Contentment is not abandoning ambitions. I need to have ambition and to make the most of what God has given me. God says it’s good to have godly ambition. And contentment doesn’t mean I don’t have any goals, dreams, or plans. Contentment simply means that I don’t need more in order to be happy. Contentment is being happy right now with what I’ve been given.

Happiness itself is a choice, and I’ll be as happy as I choose to be! So I shouldn’t blame unhappiness on my circumstances. If I’m not happy with my current circumstances, I’ll probably not be happy with different ones. There will always be something wrong, as I live in a broken world, and nothing is perfect.

So I believe that God wants me to learn to be happy in spite of difficult situations by my trusting that he will give me exactly what I need when I need it.

Giving that learning contentment is a process, today I will consider one or more steps I can take to practice gratitude?