“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
Lately I have struggled with choosing contentment.
Usually the first week of the year, I have a conversation with God to discuss my goals, and sometimes He gives me a word to focus on for the next 12 months. I have yet to make time for that, and He hasn’t given me a new word, so right now, I feel as though I am floundering.
Except that I already know what God wants from me right now.
I’d just rather be doing something else…
So here I sit, not having the time to do the things I wish to do, unable to fully enjoy the things I am currently doing. I feel like a bird whose wings have been clipped, like I’m not able to fly and be all that I was created to be. Like an animal stuck in a cage, I long to be free to go after my dreams.
– – – This is right about the time when God reminds me that He wants me to remain right where He’s placed me, for now.
And that current placement is a day job.
I’ve been at this office for over ten years and I still love it. I work with some really special people, and I’ve been able to tackle many cool projects. I know I’m an asset to the clinic, that God has anointed me for this position. The bosses appreciate me and I’m compensated well for my efforts.
So why is that not enough? Why do I sometimes feel like God is holding out on me, that where He placed me – for a season – is not good enough? Why can’t I be happy?
Many people go to work each day having none of the blessings I experience. Many close friends have family division or health issues they’re struggling with. Me, I am healthy and my kids are amazingly successful and well-behaved.
So what’s my problem?
For a few weeks at a time, I’m fine with my life, trusting God while I wait, excited for my future. Then I get all uptight, focused on what I’d rather be doing and feeling sorry for myself.
I want to be able to say, like Paul, that I have learned to be content in all situations. (Phil 4:11) So how do I get there?
It’s all about perspective.
When I look at my situation from God’s viewpoint, I stop focusing on myself, what I desire, what I deserve, what feels comfortable in this moment. I can see good all around me, the little things God is doing, and I stand amazed!
Contentment is my choice. Too often, I choose to be negative rather than positive. Sour rather than joyful. Irritable rather than peaceful. Dissatisfied rather than patient.
What does it take to be content?
A positive attitude.
A thankful heart.
An unselfish outlook.
And a dash of truth now and then from a loving God.