Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend and happy belated Mother’s Day to all you mamas!!! You are real life superheroes, so I hope you felt celebrated this weekend.
I had a great day with my family planting flowers, hanging outside in the sunshine, and eating Chuy's for lunch (my request haha). Here is a cute picture of our daughter helping me plant my new flowers (AKA play in the dirt!).
This email is coming to you a day late because our daughter is sick today, and this weekend threw us all off! Better late than never though, right?
This week, we are wrapping up our series on contentment. We have covered 3 weeks of steps towards living in contentment: trusting that God is good, knowing that God is sovereign, and trusting God regardless of our circumstances. I hope these have been helpful for you to think on and pray through. Let’s wrap up this series with our last blog post on this topic…
Believing that God is sufficient- stop comparing yourself to others.
I thought last week’s point was a doozy! I don’t know about for you, but for me, this one hits me right in my chest! Though challenging, I chose not to skip over this one because I believe this practice is necessary to live a life of contentment. We can’t live in contentment if we are always comparing ourselves and our lives to others. We can’t be content with our lives if we are constantly wishing we had someone else’s. And we can’t believe that what God is giving us is sufficient if we are always lusting after other people’s things.
Let’s look at what the Bible says about it:
“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” …Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"
These verses serve as a reminder to us that the world is not meant to fill the voids we feel. It is normal in our culture today to be on the constant hunt for the next new and shiny thing- something to fill our voids and give us a burst of serotonin. But we always forget that those things never last. Our tanks become empty again and we are left looking for a quick fix, again and again and again. This cycle is tiring and drains us of the joy we are created to experience in Christ. I will admit it often seems easier to just put a Band-Aid on the wound rather than do the work it takes to learn contentment. But we all know what comes easiest isn’t always the most sustainable or the healthiest choice. Somewhere along the way, we have to decide the work is worth doing.
I love the way Rick Ezell put it in his sermon on contentment being a learned virtue: “Our tendency is to look for things that will make us content - those things that are better or those events that are next, rather than putting forth the effort it takes to learn how to be content. The first time I took a group of students snow skiing, several of the older teenagers didn't want to "learn." They just wanted to ski down the mountain like the people on the slope they saw as the rode in on the bus. Skiing isn't like that, and neither is becoming content. It takes a willingness and effort to learn anything. We can't just wish things into existence. Contentment is no different. It too must be learned” (Ezell, 2014).
When we get stuck in the cycle of comparing our lives/belongings/blessings to others, we must remind ourselves that Christ is sufficient. His promises are enough. Jesus alone is all we need. We must commit to learning how to live in contentment, rather than comparing ourselves to others. We must trust that God is sufficient. He is good, He is sovereign, He is trustworthy in all circumstances, and He is sufficient.
I know living in contentment takes effort, determination, practice, and investment. It takes us constantly reminding ourselves the truths of the Bible and God’s promises and dismissing feelings of comparison and jealousy and doubt. It takes encouragement from others and reminders of what is most important in this life. I never said it would be easy, but I do believe living a life of contentment is worth it. I believe it has the ability to bring us deep internal joy and purpose that cannot be shaken. And hey, that sounds pretty great to me.
Thank you for reading! I hope this short series helped you in some way. I want to encourage each of you in taking baby steps towards living a life of contentment this week. See ya next week!
Ezell, R. (2014). Sermon: Contentment: The learned virtue - philippians 4. Your trusted source for Bible Studies, Books, and Bibles. Retrieved May 9, 2022, from https://www.lifeway.com/en/articles/sermon-contentment-learned-virtue-philippians-4?ef_id=CjwKCAjw9e6SBhB2EiwA5myr9h-EmMicrVdTMJnQkr0cAmAwj5-P0VoTpeGoH2iXandX9BS6alzmOxoCQVcQAvD_BwE%3AG%3As&s_kwcid=AL%214443%213%21586616819423%21%21%21g%21%21%2116506446280%21137794411361