As Christians, we need to check our hearts a lot more often. Because many times, Christians can go through the motions and keep doing the “Christian thing,” but something has crept in their hearts and is hurting them and others.
Proverbs 4:23 says, Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (NLT). Notice that it doesn’t say somebody else will guard your heart. It doesn’t say God will guard your heart, your neighbor will guard your heart or your pastor will guard your heart. It says you need to guard your heart. You’re in charge of guarding your own heart. Realize that it’s pretty much a full-time job because we don’t know on any given day what’s going to come up. You don’t know what somebody may say to you that may hurt you, disappoint you or let you down. Then suddenly, there’s a wound in there that needs to be dealt with.
Since you just don’t know, you have to constantly be working with the Holy Spirit to keep your heart right.
Let’s look at Contentment:
Most of you would agree that contentment is a heart thing. Right? Well, that’s how I feel. I also feel. I also feel that we are most blessed when we are content, grateful and satisfied in him and have peace in the journey we are currently in and where He is leading us. God is pleased when we stop comparing our journeys with others and we are most content and satisfied in Him.
Let ‘s look at social media for example:
Social media can be a wonderful place to connect, learn a thing or two, be encouraged and share ideas, but it can also be addictive and a dangerous place to subconsciously engage in “comparison living”. I’ll admit I’ve used #blessed with previous posts. It’s definitely not always a bad thing, but when it is used as a “humble brag” to impress others… that’s where it gets tricky. How many times have you gotten on social media, perfectly content with the vacation you just had or the new pair of shoes you just bought? But then you see someone else’s Tahiti vacation or designer shoes and suddenly you want MORE. Or you feel confident and energized after a great workout until you look at those Instagram fitness accounts with all the right lighting and all the right angles. We can’t control everything we see, but we can control how we react to it. Choose to focus on the REAL blessings in your life instead of someone else’s #blessed.
The secret to overcoming comparisons?
Contentment is so far removed from many Christians that it seems that they will never be able to find it or be at peace. However, contentment is not something that must be searched for and found. It is an attitude of the heart. Once the attitude has been modified and all has been transferred to God, contentment will be evident.
So what is Contentment?
Contentment is being grateful for what we have. Maybe take a break from social media for a while. Unfollow accounts that aren’t building you up. We CAN tailor our news feeds to show us what we want to see. Learn to be happy FOR other people without coveting. If you can’t work at it. Stay true to your values and don’t let others (who you don’t even know!) dictate how you spend your money or time or think about yourself. Lastly, watch who & what you are following, what you post, like and share, check your motives friends! Are you building or tearing down? Is it building you or tearing you apart?
The Bible says satisfaction comes from doing your best, not comparing yourself to others: “Let everyone be sure to do his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work done well and won’t need to compare himself with someone else” (Galatians 6:4 LB).
Take an envy self-examination. Do you compare your life, your home, your husband, your kids, even your lawn, to other people? This exam may reveal some surprises and show you that there are more important things to do than compare yourself or what you have to others.
When you strive to be the person God made you to be, you’ll find real meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction. You can’t focus on your purpose while looking at other people.
Dr. David Jeremiah, one of my favorite Bible teachers, the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon pointed us in the direction of true contentment. http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/turning-point/listen/
I believe the most complete passage in Scripture on this subject is Philippians 4:10-20. The amazing reality about this passage on contentment is that Paul wrote it while in prison for his faith. Here’s his key thought: “…I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content…[for] my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (verses 11,19).
1. Contentment is learned behavior. We learn to be content like babies learn to walk. And such an unnatural disposition is only by supernatural grace. With a spouse, good friend, or small study group, you must learn to resist, in the power of the Holy Spirit, the discontentment of our age; or you will be swept up in it and live an agitated life.
2. Contentment is not dependent on circumstances. If Paul can learn to be content regardless of circumstance, we can, too. The same Holy Spirit who indwelt him indwells us. The same fruit of the Spirit peace and self-control that were manifest in his life can be manifest in ours.
Discontent desires more bigger, better, faster, newer, more comfortable. That is deception. If you are not content in challenging circumstances, the contentment you think you feel in other circumstances is not contentment but simply your satisfaction that things are momentarily the way you think they should be.
3. Contentment is a state of being, not a state of doing. Our flesh only feels content when we are doing. Being, however, does not end it is not tied to activity. Paul said he had learned to “be content,” not “do contentment.”
4. Contentment is based on the riches of God in Christ Jesus. The Bible says that everything we need to complete our journey from earth to heaven will be supplied by God. Therefore, everything we feel discontented about is likely not something we need in order to make and complete that journey.
There’s nothing wrong with possessing things. But there is something wrong if we can’t be content without them. May God speak to your heart and help you seek, and find, contentment in Him.
Do you ever feel restless in your spirit? Is there something you want, something you’re waiting for, or something you feel like you’ll never have? Contentment does not come easy, especially when there are circumstances in your life tempting you to want something better. Oh how our hearts love to covet … but Christ has given us the freedom to be content and live righteously.
The following is a prayer for finding contentment written by Kevin Halloran:
Oh Lord, You are my shepherd and I should not be in want,
but so often I struggle to be content and do want;
forgetting that you have graciously provided me with every spiritual blessing in Christ and everything I need for life and godliness.
Thank you for often not giving me what I want
because my desires would draw my heart from being satisfied in You.
Help me to be content in You with what You have given me
and to not be focused on what my flesh wants or the world tells me I should have.
Protect me from coveting possessions or people,
talent or influence, relationships or prestige.
Keep my heart from being anxious for what I don’t have
and make me thankful for the numerous gifts that You have already given.
According to Your Word and steadfast love,
fill me with the joy and satisfaction of contentment in Christ.
Help me learn to be content in any situation like Paul
and to quickly reject the idolatry that dwells beneath the surface of my coveting.