Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Content with the Paint on My Ceiling: Adorning Your Heart Part 3

~SPLAT, I watched a goopy glob of paint narrowly miss the corner of my eye, landing on the collar of my well splattered paint clothes. As I looked down from my precarious perch on the top rung of a tall, rickety ladder, I once again decided that ceilings should be left alone - as much as possible. Re-painting is dangerous. 

~Then a thought struck me, how often have you heard the phrase "The Skies the Limit", or even, "Reach for the Sky"? In a sense we should be achievers, we should be diligent and always looking for new ways to glorify God in what we do. But in another sense, and feel free to comment if you think otherwise, I feel that these terms can also be used to imply that there are no heights we cannot reach if we do not set our minds to do it. The truth is, we cannot do anything without God, and there are some things we cannot do, or change about our lives, because its not in His plan. And that's where contentment comes in.

~To continue my story, there I was painting the ceiling of my moms bathroom. We'd grown tired of the old gold colored paint, and to be fair, it was in need of a fresh coat. I was happy with the new color she'd picked out, a really lovely pale lavender. There really isn't a case for discontentment here - but I thought, do we ever grow tired of the color of our ceiling in life?
~ I think sometimes we just want change. We itch for it. We think of ways we can improve our situation, ways we can get more of what we want. There are healthy desires, and there are unhealthy desires. The trick is knowing when to push up into higher, perhaps greener fields, and when to step down, into the valley, and walk where God has placed us at the moment. Perhaps its in the very act of surrendering our desires for more, that God shows us we have all we really need. We don't really need that pay raise, we don't really need a new car, we don't really need those perfectly darling but rather expensive shoes from Target, and lets not mention the fact that the icecream shelf in the freezer is getting bare. What we need is a sustaining, Christ glorifying, relationship with God.
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Mathew 4:4

                                                          ~Contentment is about more than material things. In fact, I think my biggest problems with contentment are not what I'm wearing, or where I lay my head at night, but dreams and plans for the future. I want to do this someday, I want to be a stronger christian, I want to be looked up to in my community, I want to marry a godly young man, I want to have a family of my own someday, I want to be something more. Its good to want good things. And I think the majority of us really do desire good things. But Gods timing is not always our timing, and if we become so obsessed with the future that we loose the joy of the present, then we are turning our desires into idols. 
~A woman who is content is glorifying God. She proves to others that God really is enough for her. Her heart is fixed on Him. He is, after all, our ultimate treasure. Once again, this is helpful in our witness to others. Because the world really is never content. It has a gnawing, empty, hole in its stomach - which refuses to be filled no matter what manner of things it throws at it. One by one the treasures of the world turn out to be only chaff, which will be consumed by fire. But she who has found true contentment in the Lord, will be satisfied no matter what her lot in life.

                                                                                    ~Contentment is defined as an uncomplaining acceptance of one's share. Here are several areas that can breed discontentment; worry, greed, and envy. I'm sure there are more, these are just a start! I've broken down the individual areas below, with some verses to pin point how we should really respond.

When we are not content because of worry.
 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
  “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
  “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day
is its own trouble." Mathew 6:26-34

When we are not content because of greed.
"Now godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and certain into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." 1 Timothy 6:6-10

When we are not content because of envy.
"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:   
“ The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

 ~Thanks for reading - I've been greatly encouraged by your responses and find fresh determination to seek out the better things of God in my life! Its all for His glory...


Modesty is Pretty said...

Great reminder to us all about being content in the Lord, God bless you sis.

Lady Hannah said...

What a lovely entry. Thank you. :)

Lauren said...

Thanks for the kind comments, they are so encouraging to me! I am glad that my little thoughts cheered someones day!


Justice Pirate said...

LOVE the verses!!

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