Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Contentment and Trust

A column in the Mobile Press Register on Saturday by Kristen Campbell titled When Things Get Bad, Just Live Your Life got my attention. In my opinion, it was one of Kristen's best and I encourage you to read it . . . maybe even twice. Sometimes the simplest counsel proves to be the most helpful.

Her column made me think of what the apostle Paul said to the church in Phillipi about learning to be content. Philippians 4:13 is a familiar verse of scripture to many Christians, "I can do all things through Him (Christ) that strengthens me." As meaningful as that is, this verse takes on a whole new meaning when read in the context of the preceding passage (Philippians 4:10-13). It's here that Paul tells us that he learned to be content in whatever circumstances he encountered. Note that he said he learned. Apparently, it didn't come naturally to him, either. He tells us that he learned to be content when things were good and when things were bad. The "when things are good" part I get. It's the "when things are bad" part that's a struggle for me. Contentment does not necessarily equate to "happy with," however. I think what he's telling us is that we should not let our temporary circumstances define who we are. Who we are is constant but our circumstances are temporary. The current downturn in the economy and the accompanying challenges are an example of those temporary circumstances. How you and I respond in these new circumstances reveals who we are and, on some level, what we believe about God.

Maybe Kristen was just saying the same thing when she counseled that you and I should just live our life. What do you think?

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