When I started this series of posts, I felt like this was going to be the hardest post to make (parts one and two). It is not because it is the most difficult concept to grasp, but rather because it is the most difficult one to put into action. This is the one that causes me the most grief in my own life. So what am exactly am I talking about? I am talking about another spin on the word content in our tagline.
As a culture we are used to feeling pressure to constantly acquire the newest and best gadget. If your iPhone is over two years old you may as well be picking up the mouthpiece and talking to an operator. If your tablet is not the newest and latest gadget from Samsung, you should retire that and revert back to stone tablet and chisel. Those may be extreme exaggerations, but the pressure can seem insurmountable at times.
Right Here. Right Now.
In this week of Thanksgiving, we must strive to be in a position where we are living content. When we reach this point we have managed to push off the majority of the pressures of this world and be content with where we are at in life and the physical possessions we have. The Apostle Paul is often a go to source and here is no different. I love the words he penned in Philippians 4:11. If a man who has been shipwrecked, flogged, beaten with rods, and stoned can somehow muster the strength to be content in whatever his circumstances, surely I can do without the newest car on the block. I should be content with my 2004 Oldsmobile Alero that runs and gets me from one point to another.
We must learn to manage the desires of our hearts. I need to not choose the flashy, shiny things in life that will simply lead to my own demise. If I allow myself to be sucked into the vicious cycle of constantly working to obtain the newest and “best” I will never find peace. Be content with your 2008 iMac if it allows you to finish the job. I was meant to live for the pursuit of holy, not more. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that we are to give thanks in everything. This is the only way to learn to be living content.
It’s Not Just A One Time Thing
We must be in a continual state of praise and thanksgiving to beat the pressure to have the best and find contentment. Our thanksgiving breaks the power that the spirit of more has over us. It is not possible to be truly thankful without being content. Ultimately, when you are content you recognize how fortunate you are and how these things of the world are slowly passing away. What is new and shiny today will be found rusted and in a garbage dump tomorrow.
Live. It. Out.
In this week of Thanksgiving, I urge you to be just that. First, find time to put yourself in a spirit of thankfulness before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Black Friday occurs right after or even on the same day as Thanksgiving. Rooted within the “holiday” designed for shoppers is the insistence that you must rush out and buy new things. There is nothing wrong with buying things, but resist the trap of simply purchasing things to purchase them. Be an example of living content to those you gather with this week. Live out the Scriptures to the best of your ability.