Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Where Does Your Contentment Find Its Foundation

Contentment is a double-edged sword for the Christian. Do not missunderstand what I will be saying here - contentment in and of itself is not a bad thing... but it can be a deadly and dangerous thing to the Christian if the Christian bases his contentment upon the wrong thing.

When I consider Christ Jesus and His love for me, I am content. When I behold His Cross and see that His blood was shed for me, I am content. My salvation is secure - indeed, I have life and salvation. I can even look at the blessings which God has given me and be content, because these are the ones that God has given to me.

However, if I look at myself, my own efforts, my own thoughts and plans and dreams... I cannot be content. There, I will see sin. There I will see where I have fallen short and ought to strive for more. There I will see pride and arrogance and coldness of heart.

Some might say, "But you are good" -- good compared to whom? Not compared to God and His standards. Some might say, "You have done enough" -- enough for what? If you mean as much as I can do in my fraility, sure - but there is always more and more that remains to be done.

We want to placate ourselves, we want to lessen the Law and its impact upon us, we want to pat ourselves upon the back and feel a sense of spiritual accomplishment for all our growth.

But if we are honest, when we look at ourselves, we would not be content (especially if we looked at ourselves with that critical eye we cast upon our neighbor).

So - what does this mean? Do I think that my life should be one where I am miserable and never content? No - I think my life and my efforts shouldn't be the focus of my existence. Let me be focused upon Christ, let me see all things in view of Him and through His love. Let me see His mercy given to me without merit or worthiness in me - let me see my neighbor as His own brother, indeed, as my own brother whom He has given to me as a gift, a gift for me to care for in love.

It is only when we see Christ, when we view all things in Him and Through Him that we can have true, honest contentment. The false contentment of this world is a lie, covering greed and shame and endless hunger to consume which always ends in death.

Contentment in Christ is seeing that truth which leads to life everlasting.

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