“For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13
What’s robbing us of contentment? Why?
The answer is Comparison.
Comparisons always deal a deathblow to our contentment. When we see others owning, enjoying, or experiencing what we do not have, but wish we did, it may make us discontent.
In a letter to the believers in Philippi, the Apostle Paul penned Philippians 4:11-13 which begins “For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”
God has already prepared a place of contentment for us when the car breaks down, the bills are hard to meet, and our “Johnny” acts out … again. We find that place when we take our eyes off of our situation (and off of the screen, ie: Facebook, Smartphones and all other types of Social Media) and fix them solely upon God.
When we adopt this attitude, we live out the truth I once heard author Elisabeth Elliot declare: “The difference is Christ in me. Not me in a different set of circumstances.”
To truly embrace our circumstances, we must decide to stop pleading, “God, get me out of here!” and learn to humbly ask instead, “Lord, why have You brought me here? What are You trying to reveal to me that I would never discover if You were to suddenly pluck me out of this situation? What godly character qualities are You trying to grow in me? Patience? Trust? Faith? Compassion?”
When we cease making comparisons and instead willingly embrace our current lot in life, welcoming all that God will teach us through it, we will finally unearth the secret Paul knew. True contentment is not merely having what you want, it is wanting nothing more than what you already have.
We can only do this when we stop looking at the Joneses and turn our eyes to Jesus Christ who gives us strength.
Dear Lord, forgive me for looking around and comparing myself or my circumstances to others. May I look only to You for contentment and peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions to ask yourself:
In what areas of your life do comparisons impact your contentment? Marriage? Children? Finances? Work? Relationships? Looks?
Pick one of those areas and write out a prayer to God asking Him to shift your perspective from comparing to being content. Post it next to your computer screen or on your bathroom mirror.
Powerful Verse to remember:
Proverbs 14:30 “A tranquil heart is life to the body, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”
~picture is not mine and this article was taken from Proverbs 31 Ministries