CONTENTMENT – A chosen positive emotion; a skill to be developed

SCRIPTURE:  “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  –  Hebrews 13:5 – KJV

TURNING POINT:

St. Paul wrote to the Philippians that he had learned to be content no matter his circumstances ( Phil 4:11-12).  How could he do that?  I believe it is possible to be content by thinking about God’s promise in Deut 31:6-8, which Paul recalls in his letter to the Hebrews:  “I will never leave thee; nor forsake thee.”  Believing God’s commitment to you, through his everlasting covenant with his people, is the foundation upon which you are able to experience contentment.  The challenge is in choosing to believe, and to positively expect all your needs and desires to be met by God.  Contentment is a state of emotional being.  It reflects your outlook on your life today, and your view of the future.  And like many of the characteristics of mature believers, it is a skill you develop through practice.

When I started practicing yoga, every book I read described the Eight Limbs of Yoga.  I was moved by the yama “non grasping.”  That’s contentment.  Just looking at the same principle through different vocabulary made it easier to understand and put into practice.  The word grasping brings an image to my mind of a senseless, selfish, urgent hand trying to hold on to something in futility.  Striving to acquire material things brings stress and strife.  Contentment brings peace.  Even in our relationships, being content with another person just as they are relieves your burden to try to change them, and preserves their self esteem.

God has always promised to care for you.  Not just the basics, either, but in abundance.  Take an inventory of all your material possessions and relationships, and be grateful.  It’s just a state of mind to give yourself.  And yes, it will take some practice!

“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

– Lao Tzu

A.S.K. (the Higher Choices Process)

Ask – questions to discover the direction God would suggest you take.

 

1. Are your grasping for something you know you don’t really need?
2. How can you make Higher Choices regarding physical fitness through practicing contentment?
3. What dear person can you let off the hook by being more accepting?
Seek – ideas on choices that will take you further along your higher path.
Knock – truth embraced through practice and persistence; abiding.