By: Justin Dillenschneider, Director of Student Life
Week of September 6th, 2021
Contentment can be defined as the quality of being satisfied with the current state of life events, circumstances, and interpersonal relationships. One of my favorite George MacDonald quotes discusses this very virtue. He says “I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been born in God’s thought, and then made by God is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking. This is a prayer of contentment.” Even as followers of Christ, there are many things that will try to rob us of contentment and the fullness of joy that comes from a relationship with our Creator. We are tempted to compare ourselves and achievements to those around us. The pain of loss and of trials force our eyes down in despair. The world preaches a love of money and a never-ending pursuit of created things, but Scripture paints a vivid portrait of following Christ as denying ourselves and finding fulfillment, joy, peace, and contentment in Christ and a relationship with Him. 17th Century Puritan author Jeremiah Burroughs describes contentment in this way; “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.
Continue contemplating contentment by looking at this week’s scripture reading from Philippians 4:10-13 CSB:
“10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. 11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. 12 I know how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.”
We want to encourage you to have a conversation this weekend about the virtue of contentment. Consider these discussion prompts together:
- When have you experienced or witnessed contentment from someone in your life?
- What are some ways you see Christ modeling contentment in Scripture?
- What things leave you with a feeling of discontentment? What do these things try to promise us?
Hymn to Sing Together: It Is Well With My Soul