Monday, February 11, 2008

Being Content

Philippians 4:10-14 says: "I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." (Message Version)

Paul was very good at being content. Dude was always in prison and being beat up--he KNOWS what its like to live in different circumstances. I could stand to learn a lot from him. But he brings up a good point in this verse about being content.
He says he is,"happy whether he is full or hungry, hands are full or empty"--no matter what he's content in his circumstances & surroundings.

For me, this is a HUGE part of living Green. When we choose to live more simply and not make life about STUFF, we'll be more happy. That little heart thingy for Valentines day that'll be good for one day won't bring you contentment and honestly; why do we need that sort of stuff anyway?
I'm finding that now that I'm not spending as much on STUFF or trying to amass more stuff, I'm really content with that.
My car is over 8 yrs old next month. Sure its sort of tired and worn out looking, but you know what? I don't care really. Its paid off!!! How many of you can say that?? And it meets my needs. Which Paul points out later in the same chapter that, "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." (NLT Phil. 4:19)
He'll supply all my NEEDS, not my wants, but my needs. And you know what? God always does that for me. He's always supplying my needs. Each month I don't know how it happens, but it does.

Learning to be content isn't an easy thing to learn. Its hard to change your thinking from, "I'll just buy it" to "Can I wait?" or "Do I really need it?" Or how about the best question of all, "Will this meet a need in my life or bring me happiness?"
Sure they are hard questions when we are looking at those around us living it up and trust me I work and live around A LOT of those types of people!

Now that I've been living like this for some time now I've come to realize, I'm content in what I have. I want to be faithful with a little!! I don't need a lot of stuff to be truly happy as well. Stuff is stuff. It can be replaced and that is our mentality about most things, "Its getting old, let's throw it out or replace it!" Maybe its not always necessary.

I think being content says a lot about a persons character. Stuff doesn't distract content people. They know what is important in life and it doesn't carry a price tag.

So when you are shopping for yourself throughout this year, consider being thankful for what you already have. Be content. It'll bring you more peace then that massager or that peaceful music CD you bought recently.

Or think of this song by Veggie Tales about Thankfulness. I used to sing it to my son when he was little...

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!
For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!
Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have,
Thats an easy way to start!
For the love that He shares, 'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!

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