Sunday, July 17, 2011

Contentment in an Unthankful World

Thus Pastor Mark entitled his message. He prefaced his remarks with the reading of Psalm 16. Here, in outline form, is the gist of the sermon.

I. What is contentment?

It is an attitude cultivated by consistent realization of Christ's provision for our life. God meets our every need.

II. How can one conquer a spirit of discontent?

1. As believers, we must cede our desires to God.
2. We must acknowledge God's power to satisfy every need.
3. We must realize that God knows what is best for our lives.
4. We must understand that our blessings are not always material needs. If you have Christ, you have everything!

III. With what one thing should one never be content?

We should never be satisfied to live on past blessings. Be a growing Christian! If we become content spiritually, we become discontent with God's blessings. Read I Timothy 6:6-10.

One of my thoughts as I mulled this over in my mind is this. We live in an economic and social milieu in which we are bombarded by marketing techniques and advertising ploys which are specifically designed to engender dissatisfaction! The devil is good at what he does, and he will use anything available to draw you away from contentment in Christ!


Sharkbytes (TM) said...

no kidding- SIL and i were just ogling $1800 boats. not exactly a need- i have no trouble with being content and not coveting, until i see something ike that. haha

vanilla said...

Shark, I so completely know where you're coming from.

Vee said...

Hate to shop - love my life. Good combination for keeping more of my money in the bank! However, I do occasionally become concerned with what I feel someone else might be saying when they see me in a fifteen-year-old, very out of style suit or ragged jeans. I have a daughter who thought I should have a nice pair of jeans for an upcoming trip and she purchased a pair for me. The price was more than six times what I pay for Gloria Vanderbilt jeans at Costco. Of course, I like the jeans - a lot!

vanilla said...

Vee, my very fashion-conscious spouse will tell you that there is nothing wrong with a fifteen-year-old outfit, so long as it you look good in it. My jeans: Wrangler, from Alco. I bet the three new pair I got the other day cost less than half the price of your new jeans! Enjoy those.

Vee said...

Vanilla, I would have felt really guilty spending so much for a pair of jeans. So why don't I feel guilty accepting them? I'm not sure.

vanilla said...

Vee, always accept a gift graciously and with a "thank you." Then enjoy it, guilt-free.

Anonymous said...

I missed this one when you posted it. Thanks for linking back to it.

"With what one thing should one never be content?"

Why is there only ONE thing with which we should never be content?

I agree that we should be constantly striving for growth in Christ, but why not in everything else as well?

Granted, discontent can be unhealthy when not taken in moderation,and can lead to excesses and greed, but discontent is what drives all human progress.

Would the automobile have been invented if we had been content with walking or riding horses?

Would aviation have been invented had the Wright brothers been content with staying on the ground?

Would we have cures or preventatives for polio, smallpox, tuberculosis, infections etc, had we been content with people dying of illness at relatively young ages?

On a personal level:

Why continue to go to further ones education when one already has a good job?

Why buy your wife flowers when you already get along just fine?

Why work that extra weekend to be able to afford the week in Maui when you have a perfectly good place to stay right here at home?

I believe that discontent is a gift from God that, if used properly and not taken to the extreme, is the driving force behind progress.

In any aspect of life, as in our walk with Christ, contentment often means stagnation.

If you're not moving forward, life will pass you by.

vanilla said...

Curt, yours is a very interesting take on "discontent." You have made a thoughtful reply in a serious vein to a serious discussion.

I see the merit in your argument, and yet I think that the statement "discontent is what drives all human progress" defines discontent as the sparkplug which ignites innovation. Possibly some contentment is derived from bringing to fruition an idea sparked purely by ingenuity, or by inspiration.

And perhaps you do not buy your wife flowers as a result of your discontent, but rather to buy insurance against hers? Actually, I rather tended to shower my spouse with flowers or pretties because of contentment. I don't remember ever using them as a "peace offering," which would surely have sprung from someone's discontent!

Anyway, not being argumentive. You made some good points.

And if contentment "often means stagnation," then perhaps I have reached a point in my life where...
(Can be interpreted to mean I no longer have a desire to go to Maui, earn a doctorate, invent the better mousetrap, etc. Some of the younger set would probably urge me to "die already, and leave the world to us." I am pretty happy with the progress in the arena of medical science, I might add.)

Contentment, in the final analysis is being in the center of God's will.