Now godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6, N.K.J.V.)
How content are you right now? You might as well tell the truth. After all, God knows the correct answer, anyway. Are you content with your spouse? Are you content with your children? Are you content with your job? Are you content with your place of residence? Are you content with your finances? Are you content with your church? Are you content with your appearance? Are you content with your automobile? Are you content with your clothes? Are you content with your cell phone? Are you content with your computer? Are you content with your television? Are you content with your ….?
In my previous post, I told you about Haman. I won’t rehash all that information, but let’s just say that Haman was a man who had it all: a prestigious job, wealth, power, influence, honor among his peers, a fine home, a supportive wife, friends, etc. If anybody on planet earth should have been content, it was Haman.
And yet Haman allowed one little wrinkle, one problem, one area that wasn’t going to his liking, to completely ruin his contentment. That one thing was the fact that a man named Mordecai wouldn’t render him appropriate honor. How bad was Haman’s lack of contentment? One day he went home to his wife, Zeresh, and told her, “Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate” (Esther 5:13, N.K.J.V.)
Isn’t that amazing? How could Haman have been so shallow, so narrow minded, so childish? We might ask the same thing of ourselves. Sit down sometime and list all the good things about your life, the things that are going well for you. Then list all the bad things, the things that aren’t going to suit you. Also, as you make these lists, be sure to differentiate between the grander things of life (family, health, home, friends, etc.) and the trivial things (a bad haircut, your breakfast was terrible, your goldfish just died, the car needs tires, etc.) You might just be surprised at how much Haman you have in you.
Christian, being content doesn’t mean that you should stop striving for upward mobility at work. It doesn’t mean that you should never put a new roof on your house. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t lose those twenty pounds your doctor keeps telling you to lose. What it does mean, though, is that no matter what is going on with you, your life is marked by an overriding sense of contentment. No matter what comes you way, you don’t stress out and worry yourself down to a frazzle. Why not? It’s because Jesus (God the Son) died on a cross to prove His great love for you, and you know that any God who loves you enough to die for you has His sovereign hand over every corner of your life.
I don’t think anyone ever put it any better than the apostle Paul. And so I’ll leave you with his words from Philippians 4:11-13. As you read the words, keep three things in mind. First, know that the consensus view is that Paul wrote these words while he was being held in chains during his years of house arrest in Rome. Second, note the context of his famous line, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Contextually, he was saying, “I can be content in any situation through Christ who enables me to do so.” Finally, third, ask yourself the question: “Have I learned yet what Paul had learned?” Truth be told, most of us still need some classes in the subject.
“…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (N.K.J.V.)