(FYI – You may remember that my hours as a pharmacist were suddenly cut from 12 hours/week to 3 hours/week in April. This week I have the opportunity to work 39 hours, AND I will be helping with Bible school whenever I am not at work. I usually commit to be as available to moderate comments and answer emails as possible here on my blog. This week, my time will be much more limited. I hope you will still leave comments, but it may take me longer than usual to be able to respond and I appreciate your patience. I should have a lot more time again after this week. Thanks for understanding! And thank You, God, for blessing me with some extra days of work.)
Is my contentment in Christ alone?
This is an important question! It is VERY, VERY easy for me to unknowingly put my faith and trust and hopes in many other things besides Jesus.
- having nice things
- being healthy
- saving money for retirement
- working for a “stable” company
- the economy
- the government
- my job
- lots of money
- feeling loved
- having a boyfriend
- an engagement ring
- being engaged
- getting married
- a wedding
- getting pregnant
- adopting children
- having insurance
- living in a certain house or neighborhood or section of town
- my own personal convictions
- my loved one becoming a believer in Christ
- having lots of money
- my man doing what I want him to do
- me feeling that I am in control
It is VERY easy for us to set up idols in our hearts, things that we hold more dear to us than Jesus, things that we depend on for security and to feel “safe.” If I put something above God in my heart – I am breaking the first commandment in the 10 commandments, and the one that Jesus said is the greatest commandment. This is HUGE, HUGE sin. And we are almost all very guilty of having many idols. Our hearts are “idol factories.” It is a constant issue to monitor our motives and to keep Christ as Lord, and nothing else. I am SO prone to wander from my Lord. 🙁
If I face having to lose something that is an idol to me, I get REALLY UPSET, angry and afraid.
What is it that I believe I need to be happy and content in my life?
Spend some serious time thinking about this question.
What would be devastating to me if I were to lose it? To the point that I would lose all hope?
- Is having that thing more important to me than intimacy with Christ?
- Am I willing to sin to try to keep it or get it?
- Do I seek that thing/person for contentment and happiness in my life? I think I can’t be happy without it?
If so – I am definitely dealing with an idol.
Jesus calls us to be content if we have food for today, clothes on our back and Him. True contentment can only be found in Christ alone!
You know – I think about that verse every morning. Everything above having Jesus, food for today and one set of clothes are extras – luxuries. I thank God for all the little and big things every day – like toilet paper, electricity, a car, gasoline, Wal-Mart, our health, our government still being in tact, my family, our home, our jobs, our church, the Bible and the peace we enjoy today in our nation.
Those things might not always be with us. It could all be gone in the blink of an eye if there were some incredibly catastrophic disaster or financial crisis. God gives us these things. We don’t have the ability to get them without His provision.
When I find myself really upset about not being able to have something, or about losing something – if I cannot be content because of my circumstances, it is time for me to deeply examine my motives and to see if I am putting other things above Christ in my heart as idols. Then I must tear out the idols and cling only to Jesus. He alone brings true contentment. He alone can satisfy. He alone is worthy of all of my worship, adoration, devotion, praise and service.
– Let’s commit to being content with our income if our basic needs are being met.
– As much as possible, let’s thank our men (if we have a committed relationship) for the way they provide for us and not even imply that they need a “better job” or a second job or that we are dissatisfied with their income and want them to spend more than they can afford.
– Let’s honor the income we have and seek to stick to the budget we have.
– Let’s commit to not trying to pressure our men into debt. Not even for a wedding!
– Let’s look at everything we have and all of our money as belonging to God, not us. We are stewards of the resources God gives us. And we will be held accountable for how we use our time, our money, our possessions, our talents and everything we have before God one day. Let’s be responsible and trustworthy in everything for God’s glory.
– Let’s put our faith completely in God alone to provide for our needs – realizing that all that we have comes from Him.
– Let’s love people and use things – not use people and love things.
– Let’s savor that our real treasure is in our relationship with Christ and with others, not in material things.