Contented, or Not?
A while back, a new friend invited me for lunch after she had had lunch at my house. Her home is larger than mine – I knew that – I didn’t care (I thought)-- but she did say 9,000 square feet…?
At the time, I was thinking I needed a bigger kitchen – I figured her kitchen just might be bigger than mine…
The morning I was going to her home, I told my husband: “Mark, you better pray for me today that I don’t covet – I’m going to Janet’s house for lunch…” He just said, “That’s your problem if you do covet.”
He doesn’t sound very sympathetic does he? (He does have very good bedside manner – I just think it’s all used up by the time he gets home.)
Well, he was right on that point—any coveting I might do is my problem. It dawned on me later that maybe he responded that way because I made him feel badly. Maybe I implied he wasn’t providing for me all that I wanted – I wasn’t acting content.
When we aren’t content, it grieves God.
He says, “Look at all I’ve given her – and she’s not looking in all the right places. If she would only see what she does have…”
We don’t want to break God’s heart – maybe that’s the biggest motivation we can have for cultivating contentment.
I did pray for myself that morning. Maybe Mark didn’t – I think he was a little disgruntled. I don’t blame him. But I prayed. I just wanted a bigger kitchen – I didn’t need 9,000 feet – but I knew I’d be seeing something big.
God answered. I had a great day.
I ood and ahh’d and didn’t covet at all – I just admired and enjoyed and we became friends. Janet didn’t want me to love her for her home – no one wants to be loved for their possessions – just for themselves. And, God doesn’t mind grandeur – look at the temple He designed – think about the house He’s preparing you in heaven. (That remodel will be finished by the time you get there…)
He wants us to be content and not covet – coveting just gets us in trouble, and its sin besides. And makes us miserable. Contentment is what’s good for us--and gives God joy.
Being Content is how God intended us to live – just like He made us for the Garden of Eden – and we blew it and stepped out of it. He’s intended us to live with contentment, and yet, I can step out of it several times a day.
What strikes me is that God’s intention is not only we be content just to show what a good Christian looks like – but it’s for our good.
That motivates me, and helps me want to want it more.
It’s like when I tell my girls: “If you get sleep, you will feel better - period – and it adds to all of our contentment when you do…
“It’s not something I’m trying to punish you with or burden your life with – it’s to bring you joy. Sleep is not an option (neither is God or integrity but that’s another lesson…”)
God says to me: “Sue, be content. I’ve intended you to function better when you are. It will bring you joy. Let me do that for you.”
Not only is it for my good, contentment pleases my Heavenly Father.
Have a contented day!
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