Monday, October 23, 2017

The 3 Most Important Ways to Learn Contentment

You would think that in this advanced technological age that we would be more than content than ever before but I think that truly sometimes the opposite might be true--that we can be more discontent than ever before because of all that is available to us.

Think about it--do we ever grow more content & happier as we see all the options that are available to us today? Or do we end up wanting more or become envious or covetous?

Many times if we allow small seeds of discontentment to be planted in our lives, the weeds of other sins grow right alongside with it. For example--let's take complaining and grumbling. When was the last time you did that? Or how about bitterness? You become bitter because you don't have the things you think you should have.

The Bible says:

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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."   

~Phillipians 4:11-12

There are some important ways that we can learn contentment, here are three that are important:

1. Study God's word on the matter. When you know His heart on the matter you can align yours with His. Study His Word and apply it to your everyday life. Pray about it and meditate on it. His Word has the power to changes lives, minds, thoughts and situations.

2. Take every thought captive & pray -Be sober-minded and direct your thoughts to what you should be meditating on and not your discontent. Avoid places and things that make you discontent.

3. Be thankful for all things - God has blessed you with so much already. The Bible says food and clothing is what we need--our wants are a different story. He has provided us with our needs and we can be thankful in that. Take the time to truly evaluate what you already have and say a prayer of thanks throughout the day for all that He has already given you.

Ladies, if we are not careful it is easy for discontentment to creep into any of our lives. It can happen so easily like when we walk into a store, or search for something online, or when we watch TV or check out social media.

And because of this, I have recently picked a Fall book for the month that I am going through and think would encourage all of the ladies out there:

It is Learning Contentment: A Study for Ladies of Every Age by Nancy Wilson.

It is a new book of hers and just came out a few months ago in May! Some how I missed it but so glad I found it--I am almost done with it but I highly encourage you to read it. I have enjoyed several of her books in the past.

Here is a description of the book:

"We tend to think being "stressed out" is a normal state of affairs, and that contentment means sitting back and just bottling things up. For the Christian, however, contentment is something we must apply, work at, and make our own in every circumstance, because anxiety and frustration are not neutral behaviors.

It is certainly easier to go with our natural impulses when times are very hard or even just "annoying," but contentment is an important part of our Christian life. Even the apostle Paul had to "learn" contentment. So we shouldn't wonder why we're still in spiritual kindergarten -- repeating the same lessons over and over again -- if we haven't given ourselves to study contentment.

Thankfully, every test God gives on contentment is open book (even the pop quizzes!). In Learning Contentment, Nancy Wilson looks to the Bible and Puritans like Jeremiah Burroughs, Samuel Rutherford, Thomas Watson, and Charles Spurgeon to help us develop the practical, spiritual strength and the perspective that comes from contentment's deep satisfaction with the will of God.

This encouraging little book follows after Virtuous, Nancy's first study. Learning Contentment includes concise explanations, application questions and assignments that will involve and challenge everyone, and lots of biblical wisdom for individuals and groups."

Here is a review:

"Wilson's book is a refreshingly no-nonsense, practical, and encouraging read. Wilson has gleaned much wisdom from Scripture and from great spiritual thinkers/authors from time past and has taken that wisdom and written a very readable book for "ladies of every age."

I especially loved her simple adjurement to "look to your duties." Instead of discontentedly mulling over all our difficult circumstances and paralyzing ourselves with fear, anxiety and more discontent, Wilson enjoins us to take actions (duties) to actually learn to be content, not just when our troubles are resolved, but even (and especially) in the midst of our troubles. These actions/duties are in line with setting our minds on things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5). They can be as simple as making dinner or praying for a friend - basically just faithfully getting on with our daily work, whatever that may be. Make it a point to cultivate gratitude in and for every situation. In doing these simple things, we are obeying God and taking the necessary and life-altering steps toward learning contentment.
I so appreciate the encouraging reminder throughout Wilson's book that through God's grace and with the strength of Christ, we don't have to allow our difficult circumstances to dictate our level of contentment. What a liberating truth! Her book has been both helpful and convicting, giving me many good things to mull over!"

This book is an easy read (but packs a punch) with thoughtful questions at the end. It would be a great pick to do with a group of ladies or with your daughters.

If you are interested in getting this book you can find it HERE. Right now the Kindle version is just half off!

How do *you* battle discontentment?


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