“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” ~ Philippians 4:11
We live in a world of bigger, better, more. At every moment, we are confronted with in-your-face advertising campaigns for updating phones, cars, jewelry and more.
Brand names and social ranking walk hand in hand. Carrying a Coach purse or wearing Michael Kors shoes lets your family and friends know you have arrived. But what about the more subtle messages? You know, the HGTV shows that help homeowners find the perfect house with the fully remodeled kitchen, open concept living space, master en suite with a spa-like feel, walk-in closets, completed basement, fenced in yard, and the list goes on? Pinterest contributes with a way for viewers to spend hours finding the perfect decorating ideas to pin to their “Dream House” for someday. Hollywood waltzes onto the scene with its glamorous leading ladies, gorgeous insightful heroes, and earth-shattering romances.
All of this breeds discontentment. We’re no longer content with our humble two bedroom, 1200 square foot house. We want the million dollar mansion seen on Property Brothers. We’re no longer content with our comfortable 15-year marriage; we want the passionate romance of The Notebook. We’re no longer content with the hardworking factory worker who comes home tired every night; we want Ryan Gosling to come home every night instead. We no longer want the yard sale jeans that were such a good deal; we want the designer jeans, new with tags that cost a mini-house payment. We want it all. All the images. Everything that society tells us is important.
Are all of these things bad? Not necessarily, but they are definitely dangerous. When we get caught up in the world’s imagery, we lose focus. We spend days dreaming about what we will have one day, and we forget to enjoy what we have today. When I lose hours on Pinterest designing the perfect space in my next house, I forget to improve and enjoy the house we live in today. When I compare my husband to Hollywood’s studs, I lose sight of his good qualities and remember only where he doesn’t measure up.
Even if this is how everyone else lives, I don’t want to live like this. I want a little less Hollywood and a little less HGTV, please. I want to LIVE in EVERY moment of my life. I want to enjoy the blessings and the struggles that we have been given. I want to live in contentment. Paul’s words in Philippians 4:10-13 speak directly to my heart:
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Ah, the true key to contentment. It isn’t the house I have, the choice foods I eat, or anything else I have. It is relying on God and knowing that no matter what we face, we can rise above through Jesus who strengthens us. Focus restored!
What are your struggles? What image does Satan use to steal your contentment?