Quarantine! Isolation! Schools closed! Workplaces shuttered! Pandemic! Can I really find contentment?
This is what the apostle, Paul, writes in Philippians chapter 4, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Contentment, especially in these days of upheaval, cannot be found in people, things or circumstance. None of them are dependable.
Paul wrote that he learned to be content. He learned that real contentment only comes from the person of Jesus Christ. We can anchor our lives to Him, who never changes or disappoints or leaves us alone.
Here are a few practical ways to keep ourselves anchored to Christ and LEARN contentment:
Yep. It takes practice. Complaining comes naturally. But we can practice each day being grateful. Make a list and read it. It may surprise us how truly blessed we are. Gratitude changes the atmosphere and the trajectory of our day.
Comparing is the breeding ground of discontentment. The Bible declares in Proverbs 14:30 that “envy rots the bones.” Wow! I want strong bones, not rotting bones. Comparing turns our eyes to what others have, how others look and what others do. Our thoughts can become bludgeons of envy and wrong desires. Beware of social media and even magazines that scream for us to compare our circumstances. Comparing destroys contentment.
TAKE CONTROL OF OUR ATTITUDES
Phil 2:5, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ.” The blunt truth is that I am 100% in charge of my attitude. We can blame no one else when our thinking is stinking. Our thoughts determine attitudes. Phil 4:3 points to exactly what our thoughts should be- truth, honesty, honor, justice, purity, loveliness, excellence. There is no way a crummy attitude can spring from these thoughts. Contentment is born in our thought life.
Discontentment focuses inward. Contentment is focused outward. Hebrews 13:6 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others..” Compassion is thinking of others, appreciating others, encouraging others and giving to others. Our focus changes when we reach out. Compassion aids in eliminating envy, promoting peace and fostering spiritual maturity.
We can find contentment in Jesus Christ during these never- before- seen days.