Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back from summer break:

Contentment…do you ever think about contentment? Over the last few weeks I’ve been considering this question. Am I content? Or do I mask discontentment in a quest for more stuff, eat more, buy more (no one say anything about shoes!) do more, on and on it goes.

Is contentment an acceptance of our circumstances? Is it just a passive action “I give up, nothing will change?” I don’t think so. Admiral Stockdale said something in a great book, Good to Great, that summed it up for me: “Never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end--which you can never afford to lose--with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” To me that is contentment; it’s not trying to convince myself that being overweight, out of shape and in debt is OK…just be content. Contentment is not an excuse for idleness or laziness, it’s an acknowledgment that things can be better and taking the discipline and fortitude to make the changes.

Or in some instances, it’s trusting God. Take the Apostle Paul for example. While in prison one day he prayed and the earth shook and the gates opened; he walked free. However, when put in prison again, he spent the rest of his life there. It is in this prison that Paul says “I have learned to be content in all circumstances.” Paul didn’t quit trying, he did lose faith. You see he knew in the end he would prevail and he kept doing what he knew to do, he shared the gospel. He didn’t let his circumstances dictate his attitude.

What are you called to do? Do the people around you feel inspired to move forward or dragged down by discontentment? You may be in the fight of your life, with a disease or some other circumstance, don’t lose faith!

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, I've thought a lot about contentment and how it differs from complacency. If you want to read more about it, here's a link to a post on my blog, Bread Crumbs:

    Discontent can be positive if we harness it to inspire positive change. If not careful though, our discontentment can drag others down, as you say. Thanks for the reminder and keep on inspiring us to take a look at ourselves.