“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 (Christ) who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12b-13 (NIV).”
Most of us have heard of the idiom “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. It is an expression that conveys the idea that there is always something out there better than what we currently have. Whether it is a job, car, phone, a house, etc., the desire for the “other side of the fence” is a peril of our human heart. In today’s vernacular, it’s called going for the upgrade.
No doubt, there are always good reasons to upgrade but the human heart has an insidious appetite for more. Today’s media in all formats contribute to building dis-satisfaction by flooding us with the “bigger and better message” playing off that human weakness. The message is tough to escape.
God in His wisdom gives strong admonitions in Scripture regarding related traps like envy, covetousness and greed which at their core begin with a lack of contentment. He warns us about the destructive nature it creates in the human heart and in our relationships. The continuous desire for more produces a striving that robs us of our peace creating worry and financial insecurity. Even worse is that when we do get that “one thing more”, the contentment only lasts a short season and the cycle begins all over.
Contentment is not natural to the human heart and must be learned through spiritual discipline. The Apostle Paul reveals even he had to learn the secret of contentment. Learning to trust the strength of the One who carries us through the valleys means having to go through some valleys first. Trusting Jesus Christ begins with having the assurance that He is sufficient for all our needs. It is then He becomes our peace and the contentment that satisfies the soul.
The Lord said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)