Posts tagged ‘Philippians 4:11’

#GoldenThursday

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States.  Traditionally it is a day to gather with family and friends, usually over a big stuffed turkey and more food than any one family could dare to eat.  It is a day that we reflect on all the good things that we have in our lives and be purposefully thankful.  Then comes the day after.  Black Friday.  The day when thankfulness turns to discontent with the material possessions we already have, and greed takes over.  Stores open at insanely early hours with crazy sale prices so that folks can push, shove, and race their way to coveted items, all under the guise of selfless giving for Christmas.  Do I participate in Black Friday?  Yep.  Even if I buy nothing, there is something oddly exhilarating about climbing out of bed at 4 in the morning, bundling up for freezing temperatures and trudging out in the snow to a store so filled with people you can hardly get from place to place.  Call me strange.  But it is also a tradition that I have done with my oldest son for several years now.  And it includes coffee, breakfast out, and time together.  That alone is worth it.

But I digress!!  Last year a new trend began.  One that pulled people from their family time on Thanksgiving.  It ruined turkey dinners all across the country.  And worse, it changed the focus of the heart from thanksgiving to I’mgetting.  Stores all over the U.S. were open at Black Friday hours with Black Friday sale prices…on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.  Advertisements proclaimed Black Friday was coming early!  How utterly wrong is this?!  Greed, selfishness, materialism all on parade, big and bold, on the day reserved to be thankful for what we already have.  To be thankful to God above for everything He has given us and done for us, from the air we breath, to the rain and sun, the snow and winter, the food and harvest, the clothes on our backs and the roofs over our heads.  Family.  Friends.  Church.  A country to live in and worship freely (so far).  Little children.  Birds.  Dogs and cats.  What good thing can we not thank God for?  Nothing, because all good things come from Him!

Today, like last year, I will not go shopping to feed the greed.  Today, I choose to be content in what God has given me.  Philippians 4:11b says, “For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”  I sacrifice my greed and my selfishness to give an offering of praise and thanksgiving to my God.  I will be content, knowing that this brings honor and glory to the one and only true God, who made me, loves me, and keeps me in the palm of His hand every moment of every day all year long.  Join me in celebrating #GoldenThursday, for I am wealthy today!!!  Happy Thanksgiving!!!

How Does a Christian Find Contentment?

You know those people who are just happy, bubbly all-the-time people?  Yah.  That is not me.  I tend to be an even-keel kind of person.  Conservative with my emotions, you might say…except when I am twirked, especially at my boys.  Then you are likely to see some downright fireworks!  Not really something to be proud of, but I am a sinful human.  And I do recognize that as an area I need to work on.  Anyway!

I can also tend to ride on the edge of depression.  I know.  I bet you never would guess that by reading any of my previous posts.  But it is true.  For some reason the contentment that Paul speaks of in Philippians tends to elude me.  I am not really a covetous person.  I don’t very often look at what other people have and think, oh, I have got to have that!  I am pretty content with what I have.  I don’t have a fancy house, car, boat, camper, etc., etc.  And I am totally okay with that.  I think my lack of contentment tends to be more situational.  My garden isn’t doing as well as I’d like.  My boys don’t behave as well as I would like (probably not alone on that one).  My job is not as enthralling as some people’s (shhh, don’t tell my boss!).  Those types of things.  So I live my life just a tad on the down side.  I can laugh and have a good time.  I love to tell a good story that can get a laugh out of someone.  But most of the time, I really am just ho-hum.

I realized this morning that more than mild depression, what I am really guilty of is not being content with where God has placed me in life.  I needed to confess my lack of contentment.  But then I thought, how do become content?  I went to the place that has the answers, and wouldn’t you know it, I found it…the answer to being content.  Check it out.  It is easy peasy!

Philippians 4:11-13 (NKJV) – Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content [here come the “states”…see the colon]:  I know how to be abased [humbled], and I know how to abound [be honored].  Everywhere and in all good things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both abound [have plenty] and to suffer need.  [Here it is.]  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me [even be content, no matter what].

Here is the breakdown of the paragraph.  This is what I have learned…to be content.  These are the situations in which I am content…humbled or honored, hungry or full, wealthy or poor.  This is HOW I am content…through the strength that Christ gives to me.

How can we find contentment?  Easy.  Ask Christ for the strength to be content in all things.  That’s it.  Then enjoy the peace and fullness of life that God intends for us to have.

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