Are you content? Paul was. He shared his secret in Philippians 4:12-13; “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” If Paul learned to be content, then so can we! Maybe today is the day to shake off our dissatisfaction and negativity. Here is how to adjust our perspectives and move ahead into a truly blessed week!
1. Thank God for how good He is is to you! Take a look around you. Take a deep breath. See all of that goodness: people, places, beauty, things to enjoy, food to eat? Be thankful! “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). A thankful heart is truly a happy heart.
We may need to intentionally shake off the negativity of other people to free our selves of its contagious effect.
2. Don’t give things and people power over you. In Philippians 4:11, Paul says “ I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Here, the word “content” comes from the Greek word autárkēs (ow-tar’-kace) which means self-sufficient, self-supporting, independent of others. Paul does not depend on things. We must not let advertisements and trends set our standards for happiness. Nor did Paul rely on other people’s opinions, approval or behaviors for contentment. We may need to intentionally shake off the negativity of other people to free ourselves of its contagious effect.
3. Look how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go. Psalm 103:2 reminds us to “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Where were you five years ago? Ten? He is working! Sometimes our expectations are even higher than God’s for us. We can learn to enjoy the present and anticipate the goodness that He promises us for the future (see Jeremiah 29:11).
4. Focus on loving and blessing others. A person who reaches out to other people is never lonely, and a person who seeks to love and bless others never is wanting for love or blessing. 1 John 4:19 tells us that “We love because he first loved us.” God’s economy is amazing; “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38) Through Him, we never run out of the love and resources that we need in order to bless others. Taking our eyes off of ourselves and blessing others can bring much joy!
Through Him, we never run out of the love and resources that we need in order to bless others.
God bless you are you endeavor, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to cast off any negativity. Like Paul, “(You) can do all this through him who gives (you) strength.” Jesus died so that we would have eternal life, but also life in abundance! (See John 10:10.) Honor Him by accepting the gifts of abundance and contentment as well as His gift of salvation!