Welcome to Day 6 of 31 Simple Ways to Embrace Lopsided Living!
We’ve covered some pretty big topics so far:
keeping God foremost in our hearts
understanding the value of rest
using our time wisely
Not one of these is mastered in a day. Learning to practice lopsided living takes time and effort. And, there are going to be times when it is just plain hard.
Lopsided living is counter-cultural. It takes accepted ideas in our society (and even in our churches) and turns them on their heads. Learning to live this way will lead us to evaluate many of the patterns of thought and behavior we have.
Today’s topic is not an easy one. We live in a world that says, ‘There’s always more!” and encourages—pushes—us to get all we can. But,
LOPSIDED LIVING HELPS US LEARN CONTENTMENT.
Do you ever struggle with greener grass syndrome? You know, that thing where what someone has or does looks so much better that whatever you have or do?
That little seed of discontent sneaks up on us sometimes. And when it’s allowed to grow, discontent quickly becomes something far more dangerous … idolatry or covetousness are the two biggies. We begin to crave whatever it is we don’t have and ultimately find ourselves consumed by it.
Can I share some good news with you?
We don’t have to let our cravings consume us … we have a choice. Read Paul’s words to the church at Philippi:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
“I have learned …”
Paul says contentment is learned. It doesn’t come naturally to most of us. But it is available to all of us. Just as Paul learned to rest in God’s provision in spite of his circumstances, we can learn the same.
As we trust God more, our peace with where He has us will expand. And we, like Paul, can learn it is God at work in us that is our strength — not our own abilities or talents or gifts. Slowly, we find true rest in God’s sovereignty. We are able to see His hand in our lives and we learn to believe He is always acting for our good and for His glory.
The bottom line is this, we will either crave the things of the world and be consumed by them OR we will crave Christ and be conformed to Him. Learning to be content is part of being conformed to the image of Christ.
So, how can you apply this to your life?
Today’s simple way may not feel so simple. But try it anyway. Think about what you crave — chocolate, coffee, that new handbag, or maybe just a minute of silence. We have all kinds of cravings and some are deeper than others. For me, I’m trying really hard to give up soda. Throughout the day I find myself thinking, “Man, I’d love a Pepsi right now.” Have you got something in mind?
EVERY TIME YOU THINK ABOUT THAT CRAVING, STOP AND ASK GOD TO HELP YOU LEARN TO BE CONTENT.
Contentment won’t come overnight. It will take time to learn. But we have to want to learn it! And as we learn contentment, we find the truth in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Contentment is learned by recognizing God is the supplier of all we need and resting in His provision.
Yesterday’s post: Locate and use pockets of time wisely.
Tomorrow’s post: Listen well.
Index to every post in series here.