March 26, 2023
The Contented Life
The Apostle Paul - “True godliness with contentment is great wealth. After all, we didn't bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:6-10)
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of contentment is: (1) To be mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are, and (2) assenting to or willing to accept circumstances or a proposed course of action. That definition seems pretty straight forward, as if contentment is simply something you purchase at a store or eat in a restaurant. But is contentment really that easy to find? Where can you find it?
Several years ago, the Christian band Caedman’s Call released a song about an Ecuadorian man who had found the secret of contentment. Here are some of the lyrics:
High above the valley of Quito, an old man and his bride grow roses.
Red and yellow, white and golden, to him they are precious as children…
A man, his bride, his children, and his roses, planted in faith, watered in tears,
Honey, that’s all they have and they’re happier here than any of our friends back home.
They’ve met Jesus, and they really know Him…A man, his bride, his children, and his roses…
Now I’m back at home, all alone, and I’m trying to find my thoughts,
That old man’s so inspiring, but the TV’s always on
And the phone it won’t stop ringing, and these bills, they keep on screaming,
They’re paying for all the things that we never really needed…
And I wonder what he’s doing right now, maybe walking through his simple field
And thinking about how God has blessed him so.
A man, his bride, his children, and his roses…
Rabbi Ben Zoma writes, “Who is rich? Those who are happy with their portion.” That certainly seems to describe the Ecuadorian man Caedman’s Call was singing about. His life, though simple, was characterized by contentment, which brings a deep measure of value to life. Contented people are most often characterized by joy, peace, less stress, and healthier relationships. Those are characteristics most of us would desire in our lives.
This week in our devotions, we’re going to be exploring what it means to live a contented life. But for now, we can hold to the words of the Apostle Paul who writes, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13).
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
In your journal or on a piece of paper, write out a prayer to the Lord, asking Him to help you be content in whatever life brings your way. Pray that same prayer each day this week as you work through these devotions on contentment. If you’re leading your family through this devotion time, lead them through the same exercise.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, thank You for all of Your blessings in my life. Please help me to be content in all circumstances, trusting in You to guide me through anything. In Jesus name, Amen.