Saturday, March 8, 2014

An Attitude of Contentment

     MacDonald defines contentment as, "A satisfaction with what God has provided, to rest in what you have and to seek nothing more, and a settled sense of adequacy." Contentment is more than just being happy with what you have; it's about having peace and being settled with your life.

     Godliness with contentment is great gain. I Timothy 6:6 Godliness and contentment work together. Godliness pushes us forward in our relationship with God. While contentment tells us we have enough with what God has given us. MacDonald talks about faulty formulas we use to find great gain. The one faulty formula I'm most tempted to chase is Godliness + Family Harmony = Great Gain. It's often times easy for me to think I'll be content if my family is the perfect God honoring family. In the video teaching, MacDonald points out that we all have that one person (usually a child) who will disrupt that illusion. You get everybody "in line" and one messes it up. I had to laugh at the truth of that statement. I can look back and see times I was upset with one or all of the boys behaving in a way I didn't like, not because it was displeasing to God, but because I felt it reflected poorly on me. Contentment isn't found in family harmony. Not in wealth. Not in status. Not even in serving others. Contentment is found in Christ alone.

     Contentment and gratitude go together. It's much easier for me to be content with what I have and have peace about my life when I remember all the good things the Lord has provided for me. When I get overwhelmed by the pain and grief of my miscarriage, I choose to focus on the blessings the Lord has given rather than the baby that was taken. It's easier to be content when I'm focused on the fact that He's given me Logan and Lucas. He has given me Joshua and Justin. He's given me many great friendships. He's provided for our daily needs and I get to work less and be home with my boys. You have to focus on all the good things He's given and He has for you rather than what He hasn't given or what He has taken away. (Thank you to my dear friends, Leigh Ann and Camille, for helping me see that!)

     Joy lives with contentment. People who are content have more joy in their lives. It's goes along with that gratitude thing. I have to be content with where I am in life. Right now, I get to parent and love two amazing little boys. I'm learning to be content with that. I have the third baby I want. But for whatever reason, my time with that baby was so short. I'll always love that baby. Our baby is always a part of our family. The loss doesn't change that. Those realizations are helping me to find contentment in this situation. Contentment is a choice just like thankfulness. The secret to contentment is found in His strength. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13. I can be content through Christ who strengthens me. 

     Thank you, Lord, for Your strength to be content especially in the hardest and darkest of circumstances.

"Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 
for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 
But if  we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."
I Timothy 6:6-8

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