311. Content or Contentious?

“Some time ago,” Stan began, “we touched briefly on being content.  Do you remember that?”

“I do,” I responded.  “We talked about contentment being a high state of satisfaction, not something to be considered as second best.”  [Note to Reader:  See Posting Number 16, “Contentment.]

“Well done, my friend,” Stan said and then continued, “I was near the end of the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi in my journaling time this morning. He wrote about being content in whatever circumstances he found himself.  I was reminded of how many times in my life I have been less than content, and have even been contentious about being content.”

“Contentious about being content?” I responded.  “Sounds like a serious state of confusion.”

“You are right about that,” Stan replied.  “I was real confused as to what did and what did not provide me with contentment.  That lasted until I came to the point of giving it all to God to deal with.  One day He made it real clear to me that the source of my lack of contentment was me and my focus on self.”

“And,” he continued, “the Holy Spirit spoke repeatedly, saying ‘Deny self.’  Over and over.”

“That’s the first step in being a disciple of Christ, is it not?” I replied.

“Absolutely!” Stan responded.  “And once I began to seriously deny self, and to seriously deny the world, the flesh, and the devil in my life, contentment with whatever I had or didn’t have, or wherever I was or wasn’t, flowed over me like a river.  The river of contentment.”

“If I am not careful,” Stan continued, “it is easy for contentiousness to creep back into my life clouding the contentment.  When that begins to happen, all I have to do is look at what I have.  I have been given the assurance of life eternally with God when my time here is finished.  And I have been given eternal life by being able to pursue knowing God on this side of eternity while I wait for the train.  What more could I possibly need to be content?”

“Nothing,” he said as he answered his own question.

____________________________________

Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in.  Philippians 4:11.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for all of the contentment you provide.  Contentment in looking forward to being with you when I step into eternity, and contentment on this side of eternity by being able to draw ever closer to you.  I confess that too often I have been less than content and have wanted more for myself, more of what the world, the flesh, and the devil had to offer.  Please forgive me for all of that.  And please, Lord, lead me in being totally and unashamedly content in you, all you are, all you provide, and all you want to be in my life.  Never contentious. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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