THE ART OF LIVING IN CONTENTMENT
In today’s gospel (Mark 10:35-45), the disciples of Jesus, James and John, were not content with what they were. They said to Jesus, “See to it that we sit, one at your right and the other at your left, when you come into your glory.” Oddly, for the apostles James and John, contentment meant sitting on the right and the on the left of Jesus. Contentment was a position near the throne of political power. So, what is Christian Contentment? How do you live a life of contentment?
WHAT CONTENTMENT IS NOT
√ is not something that comes naturally.
√ is not about possessions or circumstances.
√ is not being stoic, numb to suffering.
√ is not necessarily liking our present circumstances.
√ is not being complacent, settling for things that are less than they should be.
WHAT CONTENTMENT IS
1. Contentment is a learned state. So often we pursue so many things in this world that cause unnecessary discontentment in our lives. We must learn to be content. This will not happen immediately.
2. Contentment is an attitude. It is not obtaining something from outside us that will bring us contentment; rather it is a removal of something within us. Namely, the removal of a false and negative way of thinking.
Contentment is an attitude of defeating negativism. St. Paul is more direct in his letter to the Philippians, “Think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, worthy of praise.” (Phil 4:8). Contentment, hence, is a way of seeing things.
For, indeed, DISCONTENTMENT
♥ blinds us to others’ true needs. We do not see what they don’t have.
♥ blinds us to our own blessings. We do not see what we already have.
♥ And discontentment blinds us to the great riches of being united to Jesus Christ and his inheritance which is to be received by all those who love him.
3. Contentment is knowing you have ALL you need for your circumstances because Christ gives sufficient strength to handle what you face. (cf. 1 Timothy 6:6; 2 Corinthians 9:8) .
4. Contentment comes through the resources that God provides through union with Christ (Phil. 4:13), through prayer (Phil. 4:6-7), through thought control (Phil. 4:8), through a supportive fellowship (Phil. 4:10,14). Contentment is, therefore, found in the Grace and Providence of God. That is, if we truly realize the value of grace in our lives, then we find contentment. If we truly realize that God is in charge, that He is the provider, the Good Shepherd and the Sower, then we find contentment.
5. Contentment is found in the Promises of God, namely,
♥ that there is a place in Heaven he is preparing for us. This world is not all there is.
♥ that He will never leave us or forsake us, we never have to face a battle alone.
♥ that He will provide for our needs. We are never without the resources we need.
♥ that He will guide us into the truth. When we need guidance we know that God will lead the way.
♥ that He will do in our life exceeding abundantly beyond all we ask or imagine.
♥ that He will protect, defend, guide, strengthen everyone who is willing to follow Him.
In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me. (Phil 4: 12-13)
THE ABC’S OF LIVING IN CONTENTMENT
A. Affirm. Affirm your Blessings and Thank God in Prayer.
B. Believe. Believe in Jesus Christ and His Promises. Let His Loving Promises Lift you up!
C. Carpe diem. Seize the Day! Seize the Moment! Live the Present Moment with God! Enjoy every bit of blessing that God gives you, in good times and bad times!
D. Discard. Discard your Emotional Cancers, that is, the 4 Big C’s of in your heart, namely,
√ your COMPLAINING,
√ your CRITICIZING attitude,
√and your COMPETING behavior.
E. Embrace. Embrace Abundance Mentality. Have a KAYA-NATIN-‘TO-LORD mindset.
ST. TERESA’S BOOKMARK
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing dismay you.
All things are passing:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
The one who has God
God alone suffices.
Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.
And the greatest gift we all already have,
is the Gift of God’s Love through Jesus, His Son and our Savior .♥