I just get it all jumbled up on most days. My perspective so easily shifts and sways with emotions bouncing around me, instead of reality. I bet you do it, too. I get discontent with my lot in life, and this black swirling cloud of Self settles on my heart. My enemy loves to tease me with falling into unthankful and ungrateful attitudes. You see, my discontentment comes from a host of nasty places and they all center around Self. How about you?
This week God decided it was high time for me to do a simple heart check, and it was much needed. He showed me 3 areas where I gave contentment the boot and how to get His perspective back. He's good at doing things like that.
NUMBER ONE: CONTENT WITH MY SURROUNDINGS
Home improvement. Self improvement. Social improvement. Intellectual improvement. Financial improvement. It's all good when it is kept in perspective and with a godly purpose-but, that is rare on most days. Am I content with my little sphere of influence in this vast universe, or am I always striving in an unhealthy way for more, bigger, and better? Jesus was content with a stinking, manure laden stable. Jesus was content with a smelly fishing boat full of amateur fishermen, whom He dearly loved, but abandoned Him. Jesus was content to live life with the lepers and social outcasts-the nobody. He was content to be homeless, to be misunderstood and to suffer. He was content with being beaten, mocked and crucified. Why? Because He had perspective...and I whine about my analytics going down on my Pinterest board while I sit in an air conditioned American home, and casually browse the net for the perfect dream home decor. Shame. on. me.
God, I need you to give me your perspective on my surroundings! He was quick to answer that prayer yesterday...at a funeral home. Contentment comes when I choose time over trinkets and treasures.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." Matt. 13:34
NUMBER TWO: CONTENT WITH MY SERVICE
Horizontal living on a treadmill of competition and comparison made me a victim of ME. I had spent so many years in comparing my life to those around me, doing what THEY were doing, in hopes of having the same stellar results. Social media has not helped me out. God had to teach me to look at HIM and what His calling is for me. You see, Jesus is content living and moving through me, simply because I am His-not because I attempt to do such a grandiose job at living. He will take care of putting Himself out there when I step out of the way and let the Holy Spirit work.
"He must increase, I must decrease." John 3:30
Am I available to serve in little places where there is no spotlight, no like button, no selfies, no comments and no self promotions? Do I get dirty with the real messes in life or do I hide behind a keyboard and polish the outward appearance? Am I available to meet the deepest needs of my family and friends, or is my time spent on pleasing the masses, creating cool pins and promoting self?
God, I need you to give me perspective on my service! He was quick to answer that prayer...so I took Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook off my phone and went on a long walk with a friend. I placed solid boundaries on my phone, and I found that contentment comes when I choose souls over social media.
NUMBER THREE: CONTENT WITH MY SAVIOR
I have an idolatrous heart just like you do. I get so busy and burned out with my calendar, career and creative outlets it makes my head spin. There are days when doing the dishes replaces my devotional time, and a my prayer time turns into a nap. There are days when I purposely avoid reading my Bible because I am just too busy with other things. I let my self centered idols run me into a rut of empty living. I look for fulfillment in so many other things than Jesus! A clean house. A happy family. Fun times with friends. A nice balance in the checkbook. All of those things bring such a temporary sense of being settled, and then it begins to fade. Am I trading my soul peace for a scattered schedule and frazzled nerves? Am I content with lazy prayers, mediocre devotions and burned out calendars?
God, I need You to give me a new perspective of YOU! He was quick to answer that prayer as well. So, He plunges me into deep waters, and once again my heart cries out, "Jesus I choose YOU above all else!" My soul finds rest and contentment in Him.
"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ." Phililipians 3:7-8
God forgive me for the discontented self centered heart that so easily strays from You. Help me to run with arms wide open after Your heart, and trade the temporary for the eternal.