To Whom or To What Do You Link Your Contentment

Someone shoots off a remark. It affects you.

There is someone you wish to please. When they are unhappy, you are unhappy.

If only you had that new article of clothing, a new car, a new house, a new spouse, ah, then you would finally be content with life.

To whom or to what do you link your contentment?

The apostle Paul addressed that to a degree both in 2 Corinthians and Philipians. He linked contentment to spiritual maturity.

If I am “in Jesus” (one of his favorite phrases), then my contentment is in him.

Paul said he had learned to be content what ever the circumstance. When he had plenty to eat; when he had little. When he had money; when he had none.

Americans like to think that they are completely independent beings. They are “the captains of their ship, the masters of their soul.” 

We are actually neither. Psychologists have discovered what is ancient wisdom. We serve someone or something. Either sin is our master, or God is our master. Sin is any emotion, thought or action that takes us away from God.

Comparison is one root cause of sin. And a root cause of discontent. I compare to a picture in a magazine or an image on TV or on the Web. My body isn’t as good. My house isn’t as good. My car didn’t cost $100,000. I can’t travel the world in luxury at all times. My life is a shambles because others have it better.

Maturity comes with following Jesus and being content with where you are.

I do have to mention that Bill Hybels is on a series of messages about “Holy Discontent.” He doesn’t mean being discontented with your life. He is talking about looking around and seeing a need or an injustice and not wanting to let that lie. You just have to do something about it or the spirit will just not let you rest.

There is a good discontent. It motivates you to live out the gospel. Serve orphans, abused women, lost people, people in prison. Work to stop violence, poverty.

Lord, let us not depend on others or on comparisons for our contentment. Let us find contentment in you. But also spur us with a godly discontent that sets us on a path of service.

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