Are You Content with Life?
Envy and pride are mental habits that can imprison the mind. Enjoyment and satisfaction come down to one's perspective no matter the circumstance.
Our perception creates our reality. Yet our perception is not always the same as reality or the best perspective to finding inner peace. Finding contentment in life, no matter our circumstance, comes down to a state of mind. When we have faith in God's plan for our lives and focus on our blessings, instead of our struggles, we can improve our perception and our future in positive ways.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you." -Matthew 6:33
God's love for mankind and the gift of eternal salvation is by grace. A gift we do not earn by our own works, but by our faith in God for His ultimate love. Eternal salvation is the greatest gift for any conscious being made in God's eternal image and designed to live forever. We should always be reminded of this no matter our circumstance. This reality will add a silver lining to any bad situation.
Being content with life can rightfully be summed up by the Apostle Paul when he wrote much of the Book of Philippians while imprisoned for his faith in Christ. Setting a great example, Paul wrote chapter 4 to teach the citizens of Philippi, Greece to be grateful in life even while he was personally facing great peril under grim circumstances.
In verses 4 through 13 it states:
"4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
"11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
Good or bad, no matter what our place in life is, our condition is temporary. If we put our faith in God, our eventual outcome will be blessed.
In 1st Timothy 6:6-8 we read:
“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment,
for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
As a Christian, being grateful for what we have (good or bad) by focusing on God's love, should change our perspective in dealing with our day-to-day struggles and issues. When we look at the totality of our lives from a perspective that includes our eternal existence with God, current troubles will not seem as devastating since, in comparison, our destination lies within God's glory and His everlasting kingdom.
The envy of material possessions and better fortunes of other people can poison ones perspective on life and potentially lead to dire consequences as Proverbs 14:30 says:
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”
Once we acquire a beneficial outlook, our concepts on life will change for the better as we turn our attention to a positive perspective and a more enjoyable life. Our positive outlook will also inspire those that we fellowship with too.
Currently, it is in the 3rd World where people living in poverty tend to be less distracted by wealth and materialism. This poverty opens the heart for the Word, as this is where the Christian church is experiencing a massive revival. Sadly, it starts to become obvious that wealth and technology can be a serious road-block to one's faith in God. This concept is discussed in the 2nd chapter of James:
"Listen, my beloved brothers,
has not God chosen those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom,
which he has promised to those who love him?" - James 2:5
There is an irony between our varied World societies. With the increasing distractions and materialistic influences in today's Western popular culture, belief in God and the Christian church are gradually dying from societal complacency.
"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world
and forfeit his soul?" -Mark 8:36
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