[Papercut Press Publishing]   1998-02-10 - Contentment

Philippians 4:11 I have learned that in every estate I should be content.

The first few words of this verse remind us that it is not enough for Christians to hear about their duty, they must also learn their duty. It is one thing to hear a sermon but it is quite another to apply it to our lives. Are we guilty of hearing much and learning little?

Sometimes contentment is a tough thing to have. Someone else might have more than you, more riches, more rest, more revenue, greater inheritance …, And so on. But if we love our neighbor, we will not transgress in our thoughts against them. The very motions of our heart will seek his or her well being.

Discontent does one thing. It keeps us from enjoying what we have. Comfort depends upon contentment. It is often the case that it is not the trouble that troubles, but the discontent that comes with the trouble. Apparently I am the only one in the United States that has not seen the movie Titanic, but I know this about ships, it is the water that gets inside that brings it down. So also it is not the outward afflictions that make life sad, because a contented mind sails above these stormy waters. But when there is a leak of discontent, and trouble gets into the heart, then the disquiet comes and the sinking begins.

The discontented person thinks that everything he does for God is too much, and everything God does for him is too little. We need to say as David said, "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance" (Ps. 16:5). Let the issues of life fall where they do, in a sick bed, prison, a palace, or the street, still with David we shall say, "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant palaces; yea, I have a goodly heritage." (Ps. 16:6)

"If you are not satisfied with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled." C. H. Spurgeon

"Discontent follows ambition like a shadow." Henry H. Haskins

Soli Deo Gloria,
Tim