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15 Nov '11

A singular question

Posted by T.J. Addington in Intentional living, money matters, The heart
We live in an economic system that thrives by convincing us that we do not have enough, need better, need more, need new. With Thanksgiving upcoming we enter into the most intense (insane?) season where all the forces are designed to convince us that the glitter of those gifts will make us happier, more fulfilled and somehow more productive and effective (aah, my technology).


Here is the question! Am I content with what God has given to me today? Are you content with what God has given you today? Or, do we believe that his provision today is inadequate? In which case, we are suggesting that God does not give us our "daily bread."


Contrast our inner struggles (most of us have them) about whether we have enough with Paul's attitude. "For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:11-13)."


What was Paul's secret? Why could he be content in whatever situation he found himself in? Is it possible for you and I in a day when more and better screams at us everywhere we go. Where someone else always has more than us?


I think the secret is found earlier in this passage where Paul says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7)."


Paul's secret is not that he has all he may want. His secret is that he can present his requests to God who can and will meet his needs. And in sharing those needs with God, he could live with a peace that transcends anything our world could ever understand about contentedness and satisfaction because it is divinely given. Paul had needs as we have needs. He probably had desires as we have desires. But his attitude of thanksgiving for what God had given and the ability to share his needs with God gave him a peace that transcends all understanding. Thus his contentedness - in whatever circumstance he found himself.


There is no better time to grow our thanksgiving and peace and contentedness than in the Christmas season. Are you and I content today? It is a great gift to live with divine contentedness.