Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On Contentment

The Apostle Paul talks a lot contentment: "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

"Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with what you have: for He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you." – Hebrews 13:5

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. – 1Timothy 6:6-7

At the bottom of my email, I have it set to say this:"Perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.
It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and pray to my God in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble." One of my favorite authors said that--Thomas Merton

It reminds me a lot of PROJECTIONS. Basically being swayed one way or another by what 
someone has to say about you, whether positive or negative. Typically we will have an internal and sometimes external response if someone tells us we look good, or if we stink at something etc...

And this could do with material things such as:
your house
your car
your clothes
your bank account
your pots and pans (a lot of people feel down about their crappy pots and pans :)
your furniture
your lack of central air
not having a dog you would want
not being able to travel

And it could be non material things such as:
your marriage
your body
your hair
your success in life 
your position at work
wanting children or more children
your friendships
your family
your health
your in-laws

How about I leave a blank, and you fill it in _________________________________. 

Together we can move forward toward learning to be more content. It is a process, a journey.
Even if we notice one thing a day, that's all, one thing. We all are a work in progress, it takes patience
to be refined.
All we need is a new perspective; which can seem like it's never gonna happen, but it does,
slowly but surely. 
I think a big trap we get ourselves into is not living in the present. 
By thinking of the future, and in some cases even the past, we will instantly be discontented. 
If we focus on the present, that is our first breakthrough on being content.


Kyle said...

i think i've complained about almost half of those TODAY...even though i have so much! it's easy to get in the habit of only seeing the negative. thanks for the reminder!

Leslie said...

Well hello Lovely! Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog! It completely made my morning. Thanks also for the tip about having contact info somewhere on my blog... I went ahead and added an email address to it already today :)

Also, I LOVED your post about Chicago! I don't think I could have walked by that vintage shop sign without stopping in. This post also was super encouraging. I am going to write down that Thomas Merton quote and ponder it for a few days. I hope someday I'm able to achieve that 'inner quietness' he talks about. Thanks for the inspiration this morning :)

It's nice to blogger 'meet' you!