Contentment

Jack Roeda

READ : Philippians 4:10-17

For I have learned to be content with whatever I have. (v. 11)

And you wonder: how did he learn it? Did it come easy to him or was it hard? Did it come to him overnight, or was it something he learned over many years? And how did he learn it? Was it in the school of hard knocks, or was it through some profound religious experience? “I have learned to be content.”

Our question must be: Have I learned such contentment? C.S. Lewis, in a letter to a friend, wrote: “Recently, although the outward condition of my life has not changed for the better, it has pleased God to pour into my soul great tranquility.” Then Lewis added: “I give thanks, but not without apprehension. I wish that I had attained a greater constancy with no shadow of turning.” Like Lewis, most of us find contentment extremely slippery.

Paul says that the source of his contentment is Christ. Christ is his ballast. Like the weight put into the hold of a ship to give it stability, so Christ is that weight in Paul’s life. Or, to change the image, Paul would say that Christ is “more precious to him than the earth would be if it were a single solid diamond” (C .S. Lewis, The Silver Chair).

Having Christ I lack nothing. I am content.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, may you be more than all the world to me. Amen.