Sunday, February 1, 2009

Contentment, part 2

Pin It That word KEEPS popping up! It's almost like the Lord is trying to teach me, or something like that!

My question for the day ... okay, I can see that contentment is a learned quality. How exactly does one go about learning it? Is it similar to patience, in which everything suddenly becomes chaotic without forseeable means of change, so that patience is the only choice available? This would be why we're always told to never pray for patience.

I suspect that contentment falls along those same lines. Maybe it's kind of like the things we typically rest in are shaken up, and see that God is faithful still, then we can learn to be content in other areas. I really don't know. He's not giving me the entire "this is how you're going to learn to be content in all circumstances" plan. I do believe He has told me where to begin, though.

I'm really fond of baby steps. I believe that step #1 for me is to just recognize discontentment in myself. I'm a big complainer, I think even those who read this who do not know me personally have realized that. So that's step #1 for me. Recognizing when I complain -- even passive aggressively, even internally, and making it stop. (And WHOA ... that is SOOOOO not a baby step! More like a giant leap - remember playing "Mother May I" and it was time for a giant leap and every single ounce of strength in you leaped as far as possible? This is what trying to not complain is going to be like for me.)

I think complaining is so ingrained in me that it's highly likely that I complain without even realizing it. Help me out here, friends. Kindly point out when I start complaining. (I know this is going to be a huge challenge for at least one of you, because a significant portion of my complaints get dumped on you ... love you girl ... use your honesty with me, seriously! You know who you are!)

I really really do want to learn to be content. I know it's a process, and I know the Lord wants me to defeat this sin in my life as well.

(random thought that just went through my mind ... does being content with what I have mean that I need to take that new camera lens out of my cart at amazon? I have no idea. Really, I don't. Anyway ... )

Step #1 ... recognize complaining quickly, and stop it.

Phil 2:14-15
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.


Micah said...

Ya know... for me... that's where it gets confusing. Does contentment mean just settling for what gets dropped in your lap, not ever WANTING that new camera lens...??? Maybe it means we can desire things but coming to a place where our happiness or contentment doesn't lie in GETTING that thing/those things? I believe the latter. At least that's what I believe right now. Contentment is part of peace. It IS learned. There are areas of my life I'm completely content with and other areas I struggle. But when I find myself content... I realize it is from the Lord. Its not my own doing. So hang in there. God knows the desires of your heart. I'm praying that He'll give you victory in the baby steps.
And hey, maybe your contentment will rub off on ME! lol

Melanie said...

I think that might be part 3. I could easily take certain areas of my life and say "oh, I'm content with that as it is ..." and that would be sin because I KNOW it would be laziness on my part. I know He's working on me and wanting to grow me up, so I can't sit and rest and be content to not grow. I haven't figured out how to separate the areas where I should press forward and where I should be content with what I have yet. I don't think there's a definite line there either.

Anyway ... yep, it's going to rub off, and we're going to get it all figured out and be happy content people. (LOL, the song "Shiny Happy People" just came into my mind, but ever since seeing it on Sesame Street when Gabbi was a baby, it's "Shiny Happy Monsters" in my mind now.)

Melanie said...

I've either had too much caffeine today or I'm having an ADD moment. My response had nothing at all to do with what you wrote and I didn't even realize it until I reread it ... after posting it.

You're exactly right, I think. To use the camera lens ... if the Lord provides the funds for it, then great, I'd love to have it. I just need to learn to not unfavorably compare the one I have with the new one, and to realize that the one I have is perfectly fine and be thankful for it.

Peace ... sounds nice. Inner peace that comes from contentment. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that He is still working on us all! Thank you for sharing your struggles. I'm praying for you!