How to Be Content
My week wasn’t perfect, despite my blog attempt to make it so :). But it was great. It was great because I chose to listen to Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:11-13. In these verses, Paul tells the Philippians that he has learned the secret of contentment. Are you ready for this secret? Here it is: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Paul isn’t saying that if I believe hard enough, I’ll get everything I want. God isn’t a genie. He is God Almighty. To prove that point, Paul wrote this, not from a mansion or a five-star restaurant, but from a prison cell. He was writing to believers who would be persecuted for their beliefs, treated unjustly by those around them, considered crazy for their faith.
What Paul is saying is that we can be content no matter where we are. I can be content even if I am having a bad week, even if a someone is mad at me, even if I have a million tasks to accomplish, even if my muscles ache and my head is pounding. Contentment is not based on circumstances. I know this, too, because I have had days where everything is going well — people love me, the scale lies to me, pumpkin spiced lattes flow — and I still get cranky and irritable. Because it isn’t good enough. In the words of Augustus Gloop (I have “Willy Wonka” on the brain!) “I want more!!”
So on those days, God gently reminds me of this truth, a truth Paul learned from Jesus himself: life doesn’t have to be perfect for us to be content. Contentment is a choice. I can choose to be content no matter what is happening around me.How? Because “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”