Thursday, October 6, 2011

"I Have Learned To Be Content"

"A body can't have everything."

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned to be both full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13

Recently I noticed a status update on facebook and it said something like this: I would be happy if_________. I didn't read the comments, though there were many of them, and I didn't stop to think about it at the moment. But, later on the Lord brought it into my thoughts and I remembered part of the above verse "I have learned to be content". Well, I thought to myself, have I learned to be content? I wasn't sure. All my discontents were brought in front of me.

I find myself often dreaming of what it would be like if I had my own house. It would always be clean, I would have meals on time, my children would be happy, they would do their chores in merry harmony. Each one of us would be striving to make it comfy when Dad gets home. I would read to my children, my daughters and myself would work alongside together preparing dinner. We would be happy all the time. I would never be cross with my children, I would correct them and discipline them but I would not "provoke them to wrath". The "heart of my husband would safely trust me" (Proverbs 31:11) I would "clothe my house hold in scarlet" (Proverbs 31:21) and "stretch out my hand to the poor" (Proverbs 31:20) I would be the world's super mom getting everything done. Yes, in my dream world I, and everything around me, would be perfect. I would be the perfect model of biblical womanhood.

Of course this is a very Utopian dream as all mothers and wives know.  I see the mistakes of my parents and myself and the rest of my siblings. I am determined that it should not happen in my own family. That is not wholly wrong on the outside, of course you want things to be right. But, It is nothing but dreaming turned to vain and stuck up pride, comparing my dream self to others. Besides just vanity I find myself letting that dreaming turn into longing, then I would compare my dream to my present circumstance where nobody seems to notice that I cleaned the bathroom, or did the dishes. I would grow discontent.
I discovered for the first time what was really behind my thoughts and reason, and how bitterly did I grieve it when I found out. How am I supposed to uproot such a deep seated problem! What then, is the solution?

 Well Paul gives some advise in the versus previous: 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Okay so change my thoughts... that is kinda big, I can't do that! Well good for me the answer to that is found in Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". So bring it to the Lord in prayer. Now I am working on changing that attitude. I try not to think about it and if I do start dreaming I try to "change the subject" in my mind. Sometimes I don't succeed and I repent of it and ask the Lord to change my habits, He helps me along the way and it is beginning to get easier. That is not to say I never dream of the future, but if I find myself comparing to others or growing discontent, then I repent of it.

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