Saturday, 20 March 2010

Content, Complacent or Helpless

I was asked to speak at University of Newcastle Christian Union, which I did last night. I was given the passage Phil 4:10-23 to speak on. I began to think through what Paul had to say about contentment. I also tried to think about what contentment is not.
It is not-
  1. Complacency- This is defined as being self-sufficient, self-reliant and unconcerned. It's an "I'm alright Jack" attitude. I have everything I need & everything I need I got for myself. It is also an attitude of being unconcerned about what is happening around us.
  2. Helplessness- There is nothing I can do for myself or for others. I have nothing so I will just accept whatever happens to me.
We are reminded in Rev 3: 15-17 what God thinks of those who think they have everything. We make him feel like vomiting. When we get to that stage we stop trusting in God.

Paul also reminds in Phil 4: 13 that we are not helpless because through His strength we can do all things.

Contentment is not from external circumstances but an internal assurance of our relationship with Christ and what He has done for us.

Contentment is a capacity to be detached & independent from possessions.

Contentment is learned. Paul said that he had learned contentment. This means "disciplined by experience". Paul probably go it wrong, which was how he learned through experience. That definitely gives me hope.

People are more likely look at our lives when things are going wrong to see if we react differently as Christians than when everything is going well.

Do I show contentment in all circumstances? I don't want to be complacent or helpless.