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Monday, May 29, 2023

Slow Down by Learning Contentment

In Philippians 4:11 I read, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (NIV)

I’m learning that If I’m serious about slowing down, I shouldn’t start with my schedule, rather start with my heart.

Paul says in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (NIV). Notice that Paul says he has “learned” contentment. Unfortunately we are not by nature contented people. It is our nature to be discontent—to want things to be different, to want them to be better. But if I’m going to slow down my life, I have to learn contentment. And I can only do that over time.

Paul explains what it looks like to be content. He says, “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 NIV).

Paul is emphasizing that life isn’t about things. A person who is content can acknowledge, “I didn’t have anything before I was born; I’m not going to have anything after I die. Yes, I need things, but they’re not what life is about—so I’ll just be content with what I’ve got.”

Contentment is not abandoning ambition; we need to have ambition and make the most of what God has given us. Contentment doesn’t mean we don’t have any goals, dreams, or plans for life. In fact, God says it’s good to have godly ambition.

Contentment means this; We don’t need more in order to be happy; we can be happy right now with what we’ve been given.

Happiness is a choice. In other words, I can be as happy as I choose to be! Furthermore, I can’t blame unhappiness on circumstances. If I’m not happy with my current circumstances, I’ll likely not be happy with different ones. We live on a broken planet, and nothing is perfect; there will always be something wrong in life.

God wants me to learn to be happy in spite of difficult situations by trusting that he will give me exactly what I need when I need it. Learning contentment is a process. So commit to starting that process today!

In summary, we can learn to be content with whatever we have or whatever our situation is. The secret is doing everything through Christ who will provide us strength. This includes my work situation. We can learn to rely on God's promises and Christ's power to help us be content. He will supply all our needs, but only in a way that he knows is best for us. Often a desire for more or better is really a longing to fill an empty place in my life. The answer will be in our perspective, priorities, and source of power. The power we receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do his will and to face the challenges that arise from our commitment to doing it. As For me, as I contend for faith, I will face troubles, pressures and trials. As they come, I can ask Christ to strengthen me. True contentment is enjoying what I have right now rather than waiting for something else to happen. It means that I'm happy with what I have. Peace of mind will beat relentlessly chasing for more every single time.