Contentment doesn't come easy to most of us, especially at this time of year.
For some, contentment is as foreign to us as living under water or raising livestock in the backyard of our suburb homes.
Let's face the truth about contentment. We are afraid that if we open the door of contentment, two very un-welcomed guests will barge their way in: The loss of status and slothfulness. If you believe like "the world" does, then“getting to the top” is worth any sacrifice.
The world believes, contentment is something to be enjoyed between birth and preschool . . . retirement and the "old folks home . . . or among those who have no ambition or drive.
You only have to listen for a moment to any Christmas party conversation to hear a young person who is gifted with their hands being counseled not to “settle” for a trade school.
Competent, contented, and fulfilled teachers are frowned upon if they refuse to pursue the position of principal or administrator.
The owner of a Mom and Pop store on the corner who is happy and content is pressured to expand until she opens more stores in order to "get rich"—leaving contentment behind.
People serving as assistants or in any kind of support position often wrestle with feelings of discontentment. The pressure to continue "pushing forward" until they reach the title of boss or owner can be unrelenting.
Interestingly, as we live in the world of "got to be better than the Jones'" we have become a people who are more discontented. We have not only bought the lie, we have swallowed it hook, line and sinker. And we are left dangling from the line that has ensnared us.
Look at what the apostle Paul said:
1Timothy 6:8,“But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." (NIV)
Hebrews 13:5, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:11, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." (NIV)
Contentment is a learning process (believe me, I'm still learning) . . . and it can be uncomfortable to march to the beat of a "different" drummer.
However, I am confident when we do so, we will walk freely and contently.
What are your thoughts?